IRVINS Salted Egg packet containing dead lizard made at premises that closed in November: AVA
SINGAPORE: The packet of IRVINS Salted Egg fish skin snack that contained a dead lizard was produced at the company's previous premises, which ceased operations in November, the Agri-Food and Veterinary Authority (AVA) said in a statement on Monday (Feb 11).
Ms Jane Holloway uploaded the pictures on Facebook in December, complaining that her family members had found the dead lizard in the packet. An apology was later posted by IRVINS Salted Egg and signed off by the company's co-founder Irvin Gunawan.
AVA said in its statement that it received feedback regarding the implicated product in January and had inspected IRVINS' current premises and asked the company to improve its quality control checks.
The checks include conducting regular refresher training for quality control operators, sourcing ingredients from reputable suppliers and conducting regular audits.
"IRVINS has made improvements in these areas, as well as stepped up inspections on the production line. AVA will continue to do periodic audits and enforcement checks," AVA said.
In Ms Holloway's post, which has been shared more than 8,000 times, she wrote: "I can’t believe IRVINS Salted Egg is not purely salmon fish skin but also gecko! My poor brother and mum ate half the bag before they found this inside!"
"This gecko was probably deep fried with the salmon skin by the looks of it. Eeeewwww!" she added.
In IRVINS' apology, it said that it was "very shocked and devastated" to hear about the incident.
"We really want to sincerely apologise to the customer and everyone who is affected by this incident directly or indirectly," it said.
Customers who have packets of the fish skin snack that expire on Oct 16 this year, or those who are uncomfortable consuming the snacks, were asked to contact IRVINS Salted Egg for refunds at feedback [at] irvinsaltedegg.com.
All recalled products would be disposed of, said the company, whose products are popular among locals and tourists.
CHECK YOUR FOOD
AVA added that while it will continue to conduct periodic checks to audit licensed premises and food safety management systems of their licensees, food manufacturers need to be responsible for complying with food safety standards and requirements, and maintaining robust food safety management systems.
AVA said that consumers should also adhere to good food safety practices, such as examining the packaging carefully and keeping food in clean and air-tight containers and away from heat and moisture.
They are advised to inspect food regularly for insect infestations and mouldiness, and check food storage cupboards regularly to ensure that they are uncluttered and clean.