Lifestyle & Belief

Brazil bans batch of Heinz ketchup after rodent fur found


H.J. Heinz Co. products are displayed at a grocery store in Chicago, Illinois. The company is being bought by Warren Buffett and Jorge Lemann.


Scott Olson

SAO PAULO, Brazil — Health officials in Brazil have banned a batch of Heinz ketchup after traces of rodent fur were found in the lot from Mexico.

In a statement from Anvisa, Brazil's health surveillance agency, the government said it had banned all sales, distribution and marketing of the specific 2k04 batch of Heinz tomato ketchup.

While the extent of the contamination and the amount of product in the batch is unknown, Heinz has said it has already been taken out of circulation, BBC said.

Brazil's consumer advocacy group Procon sent a note to Heinz, notifying the company that it needs to provide more details about what happened and to clarify how the incident could have occurred.

"Along with other information, the company must describe the nature of the defect and the potential risks it caused to the health and safety of consumers, as well as the procedures adopted in order to repair the defect," said the note.

Mexican authorities have launched an inquiry into the incident, and an inspection of the factory where the ketchup was produced has been ordered.

Cofepris, Mexico's hygiene agency, has also requested a visit to check on the standards of the factory and has asked Heinz for a "detailed report" on the batch of ketchup where the rodent fur was discovered.

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