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Rice scare in Poipet reveals plastic pieces

Rice scare in Poipet reveals plastic pieces

A rice-milling company has admitted to letting pieces of plastic from its machinery make their way into bags of rice after residents and authorities in Banteay Meanchey’s Poipet town raised fears of “plastic rice” upon finding their rice abnormally sticky since the Pchum Ben holiday.

Local resident Say Samoeun, 47, said he bought a 50-kilo bag of Minh Bo Company rice, only to find that the grains seemingly fused together during cooking.

“The family members started to feel unusual headaches and stomachaches since we started consuming the rice in the new bag,” Samoeun said.

Samoeun showed the rice to local authorities, who determined it did indeed appear to contain plastic.

“I soaked the rice and cooked a new pot of rice in order to see whether it was plastic or not; the result was sticky and hard to separate like before,” said Sorn Mony, chief of Mittapheap village.

Reached yesterday, Minh Bo, 60, the company’s owner, said that while the rice itself wasn’t plastic, pieces from the milling equipment appeared to have made their way into the bags.

“We admit to our technical mistake leading to the break-up from the plastic plank in the miller getting into the rice, and to not checking it properly before bagging and sending it to the market,” he said.

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