The State Trading Organisation (STO) has warned customers of spoiled flour and urged to avoid use of flour that contains any impurities.
The state-owned company said in a statement yesterday that customers have lodged complaints about recently sold flour sacks.
“Therefore, arrangements have been made at STO Staple Foods and Regional Sales Shops for the exchange of flour sacks of batch number 2015348, noticed to have problems.” the statement read.
The STO is the largest importer and wholesale trader of staple foods, including flour, rice and sugar. The company sells foodstuff at a maximum price set by the government to ensure staple food prices are controlled.
Speaking to The Maldives Independent, an STO media official said samples have been sent to Maldives Food and Drug Authority (MFDA) for testing, adding that the company is awaiting results.
“Meanwhile, we advise the public not to use flour that you may notice to be unusual in texture and appearance,” the official said.
The MFDA’s spokeswoman confirmed that the authority had detected “foreign bodies” in the flour shipment.
Tests are currently being carried out to determine the nature of the impurities, she said.
“We have sent samples abroad for further investigations. It is unclear if the foreign bodies found in the flour sacks pose a direct health risk but we urge the public not to use flour suspected of contamination,” the spokeswoman added.
In September, the STO said it was going to destroy five cargo containers of flour because of impurities.