Seminary refectorian finds can of worms

By Dona Pazzibugan
Philippine Daily Inquirer
First Posted 19:06:00 11/13/2008

MANILA, Philippines—Worms were found inside a popular canned meatloaf product that was supposed to be served for breakfast to priests at the San Carlos Seminary in Makati City last Wednesday.

Fr. Anton Pascual, executive director of Caritas Manila, said he saw for himself the can of spoiled Spam Lite Meatloaf.

“I saw it. They were small worms, all over the can. From the outside the can had no defect so you would not know there was something wrong,” he said in an interview.

Spam Lite Meatloaf is a product of Formel Food Corp. and locally distributed by Purefoods Corp.

Hormel Foods could not be reached for comment as of this posting. The Philippine Daily Inquirer tried a toll free number which played back a recorded message that office hours were from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. daily.

Purefoods Corp. officials were also unavailable for comment at presstime.

According to a report made on Thursday by Church-run Radio Veritas, which Pascual confirmed in an interview, the seminary’s refectorian, Crispinana Pedragoza, bought eight 340-gram tins of Spam Lite Meatloaf from Puregold Price Clubhouse on Shaw Blvd., Mandaluyong City, last November 4.

The radio report said Pedragoza screamed when she opened one of the cans. She intended to serve the meatloaf with eggs, according to Pascual.

The cans showed an expiry date of August 2011, added Pascual.

He said the spoiled can was brought to the Radio Veritas office while the other seven cans were kept in the seminary.

Radio Veritas said they called up the Bureau of Food and Drugs but were told by division chief Joyce Serunay that the matter fell under the jurisdiction of the National Meat Inspection Service under the Department of Agriculture.

NMIS lawyer Jane Bacayo could not be contacted, said the radio report.

Pascual, who was just one of the many priests staying at the seminary’s Bahay Pari, said authorities should immediately check out the product for the sake of public safety.

He said they would also make a formal complaint to the manufacturer and the distributor of Spam. He said these should make a “public apology” and explain why there were worms in the meatloaf.

“They should check their quality control because the public might buy these (spoiled) products,” he said. With a report from Elizabeth Lacson, Philippine Daily Inquirer

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