(GIS) – The Saint Lucia Bureau of Standards wishes to inform the public that due to recent communication received regarding cheese products sold on the Saint Lucian market, tests are currently being carried out.
Hubert Reynolds, Acting Director of the SLBS said that the organisation has been inundated with calls from members of the public who wish to know if they should be concerned.
“Over the last few months, the Saint Lucia Bureau of Standards has received several complaints about the quality of cheese on the market. Concerns include the safety of cheese when heated, and the shelf life of cheese when it is repackaged. This is the cheese that is imported in bulk and resized and packed in plastic.”
The Acting Director said that the tests currently being carried out on cheese products will be able to determine not only the quality of the cheese products but also, any hygiene issues also.
“Our initial investigations indicate that there is a correlation between the milk fat content, the storage time, and the consistency of the cheese when it is melted, so that cheese lower in fat content that has been stored for an extended period of time, tends not to melt as easily. The Bureau of Standards has purchased samples of cheese on the market. We have looked both at what was resized and repackaged, and cheeses that are sold already packaged. We have submitted samples to a laboratory to test parameters that will describe the characteristics of the cheese and also address hygiene concerns, because some of the complaints allude to whether those retailers who resize and repackage te cheese are following food safety guidelines. So testing for hygiene will indicate whether there are any concerns there.”
The Saint Lucia Bureau of Standards will be making all findings public as soon as all tests are completed.
“As soon as we get the results we will share it with the general public because we know that there has been concern and much discussion on social media about plastic cheese, and some people are very concerned about their health, and so, as soon as we get the results we will communicate them with the general public,” he said.