Dickerson and Quinn International Distributors, or D&Q, has responded to a video going viral on social media showing a can of Black Label luncheon meat with maggots.
Max Kretzer, resident manager of D&Q, told Saipan Tribune that efforts to communicate with the person who posted the video on a social media site have already been made.
D&Q distributes Black Label in the CNMI.
“I spoke to the lady that had it and explained to her that what happened is very rare. We haven’t had [something] like this in years. When items travel around, sometimes with a little bit of a hard knock or something, the seal at the top of the can get a slight [dent] via transit,” explained Kretzer.
Michelle Olita reportedly bought the canned meat product from 999 Market last Dec. 26 and was looking forward to consuming it on Jan. 2.
“[D&Q] offered to give me a complimentary case of Black Label luncheon meat. …I am not sure yet if I want to get it,” said Olita.
Kretzer said 999 Market does not buy from D&Q directly. Kretzer believes 999 Market bought the product from a bigger store that was buying from D&Q, which resulted in more handling than usual, thus producing the dent that allowed contaminants to enter.
“It’s been in our warehouse and the bigger stores’ warehouse before going to the smaller stores. It gets loaded and unloaded repeatedly,” said Kretzer.
“The product is made in the U.S. so it is not coming from some questionable origin. It is, unfortunately, one of the very rare occasions that something like this happens,” he said.
“It doesn’t happen often and it happens with different products from time to time—very rare but it does happen,” he added.
Olita said she is still thinking whether to accept the offer of a case of canned meat due to all the negative things she has been hearing from her peers.
According to Kretzer: “There is nothing [D&Q] could really do about that, but I did contact the lady that had it and explained to her what the problem was. I suggested that if she had concerns, I offered her another case of Black Label—not for any other reason but just to get her confidence back and not feel she has got anything to be concerned about the product,” said Kretzer.
“She hasn’t taken me up on the offer yet, but the offer still stands,” he added.
The video of maggots in the meat went viral on social media since being posted on Jan. 6. It has garnered more than 30,000 views and a little less than 800 shares as of 8pm last night.
Most food products in the Commonwealth are imported, brought in by plane or refrigerated containers.