Making ketchup can be a hairy situation.
At least that’s what Brazilian health officials are claiming. The government has banned the sale of a batch of Heinz ketchup after traces of rodent fur was detected, the BBC reports.
The batch was made in Mexico and marketed, sold and distributed in Brazil. The country’s health agency, ANVISA, issued the ban on Tuesday for batch 2K04 of Heinz ketchup that expires in January 2014, Clic Soledade reports.
In a statement Heinz Brazil said that the batch, which was imported from Mexico in 2012, is no longer in circulation.
Authorities were first alerted of the contaminated ketchup after ANVISA found irregularities in samples of the ketchup distributed in supermarkets in metropolitan Sao Paolo in late 2012, Reuters reports.
Mexican authorities have launched their own investigation into the factory that made the ketchup and make sure proper standards are being followed, Mexican hygiene agency Cofepris told the Spanish news agency Efe. The firm also asked for a “detailed report” outlining the contamination of the tomato ketchup.
On Heinz’s website the company states that it has a “distinguished track record of food safety” and shares its practices in markets around the world. The company does address the possible risk of contamination as one of the biggest food safety concerns.
“To reduce this risk, we have installed advanced X-ray technology to detect the potential presence of foreign matter, especially in foods intended for infants,” the company stated on its website.
“Although Heinz has stringent standards and global processes to ensure a high level of quality and food safety, we recognize there are rare instances when potential issues may occur. To ensure the safety of consumers, which is our highest priority, Heinz is committed to taking swift and appropriate action, as needed.”