Vimto drinks seized in Dubai and other emirates over the past days do not pose a health hazard although they were found to be contaminated with bacteria and fungi, Dubai’s food lab authority has said.
“The bacteria and fungi found in those bottles are harmless and do not pose any threat to the public health nor do they cause even a minor poisoning,” said Shimaa Al Tinaiji, deputy head of food education at the food control authority in Dubai’s Municipality.
“What has been circulated through mobile phone texts and blackberry handsets about the dangers of these products are incorrect…these fungi are very simple and cause no harm even if they are taken…they only change the colour and taste of the product as is the case of bread infected with fungi.”
Quoted by the Dubai-based Arabic language daily 'Al Bayan', she said the shipment seized in Dubai had originated from Saudi Arabia although the UAE is tied with the Gulf Kingdom in an agreement within the six-nation GCC to test any product before it is exported to another member state.
“The UAE depends on the health certificate issued by the authorities in those country but it also carries out its own tests….we are still analysing the results of tests to determine the reasons for the contamination of that shipment and whether it was caused during transport or loading.”
Hundreds of boxes of contaminated Vimto have been seized in Dubai and other UAE emirates over the past days and some of the products were said to have come from a Dubai-based firm.