The Singapore Food Agency (SFA) takes food safety very seriously—just two days ago, a 62-year-old man was slapped with a $27,600 fine for illegally peddling chestnuts.
This time, two vegetarian food products have been recalled because of an undeclared gluten allergen found within them.
Directed To Recall Two Products
On 4 May, the SFA issued a statement stating that it had directed a recall of two vegetarian food products manufactured by Liang Yi Food Industries Pte Ltd.
Gluten was detected in the two products, Liang Yi Vegetarian Black Pepper Chop and Liang Yi Vegetarian Roasted Meat, but was not declared on the food packaging labels.
Because of that, the SFA directed the recall of the two products as a precautionary measure.
The manufacturer will need to change the labellings to indicate that gluten is present before the product can be released again.
The recalls are currently ongoing.
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What’s the Importance of the Recall?
Although gluten is pretty commonly found in most products, it still needs to be declared.
According to the SFA, food products known to cause hypersensitivity must be declared in order to upkeep and safeguard public health.
“All ingredients in pre-packed food should also be specified on the product label in descending order of the proportions by weight in which they are present,” the agency said in their statement.
Allergens can cause allergic reactions, which can sometimes be life-threatening, depending on the severity of an individual’s allergy to it.
The SFA also advised consumers with known gluten intolerances or allergies to refrain from consuming the products if they had previously purchased them.
If purchasers with intolerances or allergies have consumed these products, they should seek medical attention.
How Common Is A Gluten Allergy?
Gluten is a general name for structural proteins found in wheat, rye, barley and other grains.
The SFA indicated that gluten doesn’t typically pose a food safety issue to most consumers, except those with gluten intolerances or allergies.
Gluten intolerance is actually really widespread—according to research, around 6% of the population in the United States is gluten intolerant.
Celiac disease, which is an autoimmune disease affecting the small intestine that’s triggered by gluten, affects 1-4% of the population worldwide.
Research shows that this number is only increasing, as gluten intolerance becomes more common worldwide. Over the past 120 years, the composition of gluten has changed slightly due to environmental conditions shifting, which may contribute to the increase in the prevalence of gluten intolerance.
If you have a gluten intolerance, you may experience symptoms like abdominal pain, bloating, gas, nausea, diarrhoea, or constipation after consuming gluten.
Currently, there’s no cure for gluten intolerance, but you can stay healthy and reduce your symptoms by following a gluten-free diet and the advice given by your healthcare provider.
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