Thus, if there is an indication (that the product comprises) of dangerous ingredients, we can immediately trace and withdraw the product from circulation.
Jakarta (ANTARA) - The National Food and Drug Supervisory Agency (BPOM) has seized 66,113 products that were found not to meet distribution requirements, including 23,752 food items sold without a distribution permit, as of December 21, 2022.

BPOM head Penny K. Lukito emphasized that a distribution permit needs to be obtained from BPOM for all food products circulating in Indonesia. This is aimed at ensuring that the circulation of the products can be controlled quickly in case a health incident involving the products occurs, she added.

Speaking at a press conference on the “Results of Intensification of Food Supervision during 2022 Christmas and 2023 New Year holidays,” at the BPOM’s headquarters here on Monday, she stressed that imported products need distribution supervision from the beginning and therefore, they need to be registered with the BPOM.

"Thus, if there is an indication (that the product comprises) of dangerous ingredients, we can immediately trace and withdraw the product from circulation,” the BPOM head informed.

She gave the example of the cases of syrup drug poisoning in Indonesia in October 2022.

At the time, her ministry managed to immediately identify the product distribution points and recall the items, so the poisoning cases could be controlled quickly.

Meanwhile, the food items found without any distribution permit included Starbucks instant coffee imported from Maslak, Istanbul, Turkey, which was confiscated from a shop.

"This product does not have a distribution permit, (although) it is an imported product. After this, we have to contact the importer. Later, they will contact the Starbucks distributor in Turkey (to register their products in Indonesia),” Lukito said.

In addition to the food items sold without distribution permits, the BPOM has seized 36,978 expired food items as well as 5,383 damaged food items.

The products were confiscated after the BPOM inspected 1,929 retail facilities, 437 distributor warehouses, 16 e-commerce warehouses, as well as 46 importer warehouses.

About 86.17 percent of the seized products were found in retail facilities.

The BPOM’s Technical Implementation Unit (UPT) mostly found the food items without distribution permits in Tarakan (North Kalimantan province), Rejang Lebong (Bengkulu province), Tangerang (Banten province), Banjarmasin (South Kalimantan province), and Jakarta.

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Translator: Andi Firdaus, Uyu Liman
Editor: Rahmad Nasution
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