SINGAPORE: A brand of rice that purportedly caused a family to fall ill was tested and found to be authentic, despite claims that it was fake, the Agri-Food & Veterinary Authority (AVA) said on Wednesday (Nov 1).
In a Facebook post, AVA said it is aware of "various rumours and messages circulating from time to time, regarding fake rice in Singapore".
"This includes the recent messages about the Happy Family brand of white rice sold at Sheng Siong," it added.
Last month, pictures of a bag of Happy Family brand white rice were circulated on WhatsApp, with a message saying that a family had fallen ill after eating the rice.
AVA has tested the rice and found it to be authentic.
"We have not detected fake rice in Singapore thus far," AVA said. "Imported rice is regularly inspected and sampled to ensure it complies with our food safety standards and requirements."
The authority's sampling tests include checking on the product's authenticity and testing for mycotoxins, pesticide residues and heavy metals.
AVA also gave tips on how members of the public could test the authenticity of rice at home:
1. Uncooked and unbroken rice grains are usually irregularly shaped and should have an embryo/germ.
2. Uncooked and raw rice grains can be crushed into powder easily.
3. When rice is soaked in water, it should expand and become soft.
4. When rice is cooked, it should become soft and have a sticky texture.
5. Cooked rice, when left at room temperature for a period of time, will start to show signs of spoilage, e.g. mould or odors.