Agriculture Ministry Denies Hepatitis-A Rumors in Moroccan Strawberries

11 March 2024
Agriculture Ministry Denies Hepatitis-A Rumors in Moroccan Strawberries

In a statement released on Sunday, the Ministry of Agriculture, Maritime Fisheries, Rural Development, and Water and Forests vehemently denied widespread rumors circulating on various media platforms and social networks alleging the presence of the Hepatitis-A virus in Moroccan strawberries.

Despite previous denials and clarifications from the National Office for Food Safety (ONSSA), the ministry addressed the persistence of baseless and erroneous information, originating from entities aiming to tarnish the reputation of Moroccan agricultural products.

According to official sources, the ONSSA promptly launched an investigation in response to a health alert concerning a batch of strawberries exported from Morocco. The inquiry successfully identified the field and packaging unit associated with the alert and traced the entire exported batch.

The ministry emphasized that the ONSSA’s services conducted comprehensive analyses at the production unit of the implicated strawberry batch to assess quality and identify potential health risks.

Laboratory results conclusively demonstrated negative findings for hepatitis A, and no contamination of irrigation water was detected. Furthermore, stringent controls on field workers were confirmed to ensure the sanitary safety of the strawberries.

The ministry, in assuring the public of the safety of Moroccan strawberries, highlighted ongoing efforts to ensure the precise and continuous execution of ONSSA’s annual monitoring plan on the national market. This comprehensive plan involves the sampling of hundreds of red fruits to verify their compliance with stringent sanitary standards.

Expressing its commitment to safeguarding the nation’s agricultural products, the ministry announced its intention to pursue legal action against the disseminators of false information, in accordance with prevailing legislation.

In conclusion, the ministry urged consumers to exercise caution and rely on official sources for information related to food safety. The ONSSA reiterated its dedication to guaranteeing the safety and quality of food products in Morocco.

Source: map

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