Aug 24, 2018

They had no choice. The National Food Authority (NFA) had to fumigate 330,000 rice bags from Thailand and Vietnam to get rid of bukbok or weevils.

These bugs started to infest the rice during the unloading in Subic Bay Freeport. The heavy rains halted the off-loading, which caused the delay. Weevil eggs started hatching in the ship as the heat inside made the environment conducive for such, said NFA spokesperson Rex Estoperez on Aug. 23.

nolisoli imported rice weevils
Photo courtesy of Joan Bondoc for Philippine Daily Inquirer

It also happened to 200,000 bags in Tabaco City, Albay. The NFA detected weevils in the grain three days ago thus postponing the unloading of rice from Thailand. They had to fumigate the vessel and the quarantine period would end after 12 days.

The decontaminated rice wasn’t harmful to consumers, though, “especially if it is washed before cooking,” reassured NFA assistant director in Bicol Yolly Navarro.

The rice will be subjected to laboratory tests as soon as possible before NFA brings them to the warehouse. “We will not accept it as long as there is live insect manifestation. So it should be delivered in good condition,” said Navarro.


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TAGS: infested imported rice national food authority thailand