News From : DagangHalal.com (02 Jun 2009)
The Food and Drug Monitoring Agency (BPOM) has discovered more samples of dendeng , or beef jerky, that contain pork despite being labeled suitable for consumption by Muslims.
Husniah Rubiana Thamrin, the BPOM head, said her agency conducted a second test on 34 products collected randomly from supermarkets and found that four contained pig DNA.
Dua Daun Cabe Kwalitet Istimewa, Dua Dinar and Brenggalo beef jerky, as well as the latter’s dried ground meat, all had pork.
While it is not in its jurisdiction to take the suspected companies to court, the BPOM has issued an order to all its offices nationwide to raid establishments that sold the tainted beef products and confiscate them.
“What’s more upsetting is that the products have been labeled halal [allowed for Muslims consumers],” Husniah said.
According to the BPOM, the tainted dendeng products were registered with health agencies. But a check with the Indonesian Council of Ulema (MUI), which certifies halal products, found that the tainted products’ halal labels were fake and had not been issued by the council.
The pork-laced samples were produced in Malang, East Java, and in Bandung, West Java.
Husniah said the products could be easily found in common wet markets and supermarkets. She added that manufacturers mixed pork with beef because pork was cheap.
In a country that has the world’s largest Muslim population, Husniah said selling pork-laced halal-labeled products was a serious crime. Municipalities could charge businesses with violating the Consumer Protection Law, which carries a jail term of up to five years and a Rp 2 billion ($186,000) fine.
Last month, the BPOM found meat samples from Kepala Sapi, Limas, ACC, Beef Jerky Lezaaat and 999 to have contained pork.
Husniah said members of the public should be careful when choosing food at the market.
Dendeng made from pig, she said, tended to be more pale in color because it contained more fat, and the grain of the meat was smoother than beef.