A news item appearing in both newsobserver.com via The Associated Press indicates that officials of the U.S. Food and Drug administration (FDA) have seized 64 drums of imported honey from China from a Philadelphia warehouse. What makes this story rather scary is that the honey is suspected of being contaminated with a rather harmful and potentially deadly antibiotic. The FDA indicates that the antibiotic, called chloramphenicol, is not approved for use in food, animal feed, or food-producing animals in the United States, and the fact that this material was actively seized by government authorities is an indication of urgency and concern.
Hopefully, more information will be forthcoming, but since honey can be both an end-item as well as an ingredient in certain food products, we trust that the FDA will continue in its diligence to maintain safety of the supply chain. Food manufacturers should take special note of this situation.
It is indeed unfortunate that these types of risks involving food related products exported from China continue to prevail.