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Salmonella Poisoning By Pigtail

Pigtail is a common food item in Belize and is most popularly eaten with split peas. Just recently Belize City media reported on a case where a resident of the Orange Walk District was poisoned with Salmonella by having eaten pigtail.

According to reports the person had symptoms of food poisoning shortly after having eaten the pigtail and reported her suspicions to the Orange Walk Public Health Department. The Department responded to the complaint of possible tainted pork meat that same day and closed the store temporarily while they carried out their investigation.

Salmonella is a type of bacteria usually found in poultry, cattle, and sheep frequently being agents of contamination, salmonella can be found in food, especially in milk, meats and sometimes in eggs which have cracks.

While there hasn’t been an official press release from the Ministry of Health about a possible contamination of all poultry, cattle and dairy products, one is advised to be cautious and report any suspicions to the Health Department.

In other related health news, the Belize Bureau of Standards issued a press release on Wednesday, July 13 on Expired Products. Read Below:

Expired Products at the Health Department Office

As the government department responsible for consumer protection, the Belize Bureau of Standards, through its market surveillance and complaint hotline, takes the lead in capturing and recording consumer complaints, primarily relating to consumption goods sold at the retail level.  Depending on the nature of complaints the Bureau coordinates among relevant ministries and government departments to address consumer complaints collectively.

The sale of expired goods is a frequently reported consumer complaint which the Bureau is called upon to address and while the Bureau recognizes the high occurrence of such complaints, it can only offer to engage on a case by case basis the competent authority in the Public Health Department of the Ministry of Health to address this issue.  Both departments nonetheless partner with each other in monitoring the market for expired goods by conducting joint inspections.   

Expired goods continue to plague the grocery market. Consumers are asked to remain vigilant of the following:
*Goods that are damaged, near expiry or that have expired being sold at reduced prices.
*Price tags being placed on top of the expiration date of a product to obscure consumers’ view of the date.
*Food items with no expiry date on the packaging or items being sold without a product label containing the expiry date
*Food items in smaller or individual packets, and out of the original packaging.  These are items that are not intended for retail sale.
*Food items removed from the outer packaging and sold in the inner foil/plastic where the expiry date is unknown for example: Corn Flakes/Cereals.

The Bureau and Public Health Department will continue to work together to monitor the market for expired goods. To make reports call 0-800-2-TELL-US (0-800-283-5587) or 822-0446/0447 or email

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