314 - 07/03 - Contamination of Coffee by Wood Preservatives - West Indies

We have been advised of an incident where the treatment of container flooring resulted in a consignment of coffee being contaminated.

Prior to loading the coffee into the containers, wood preservative products containing dichlorophenol were used for the treatment of the container’s boarded wooden floors. Dichlorophenol is a chemical used to produce the herbicide 2.4D, is toxic and causes severe tainting in most foodstuffs through its pervasive and long-lasting odour. Articles detailing the effects of dichlorophenol are available to Members on the Encyclopaedia on www.epandi.com.

On delivery, the coffee was found to give off a bad odour. Further analysis of the coffee showed that small amounts of dichlorphernol were present. Due to this contamination all the coffee carried in these containers was condemned for human consumption, and with no other alternative, the coffee was destroyed.


Staff Author