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Published: Thursday December 8, 2011 MYT 7:42:00 PM
Updated: Thursday December 8, 2011 MYT 7:51:17 PM

Liow: No danger on food products from Japan

KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysians need not worry about radioactive contamination in food products from Japan, Health Minister Datuk Liow Tiong Lai said.

Liow was responding to media reports that manufacturer Meiji Holdings Co had recalled 400,000 tins of Meiji Step baby formula from Japanese markets after it was found to be contaminated by radioactive material.

Meiji is based in Saitama prefecture, Japan. Its factory is located about 200km from the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant, where damaged reactors experienced a meltdown following the March 11 quake and tsunami.

According to reports, the contaminated milk powder contained 22-31 becquerel (bq) of the radioactive materials Cesium-134 and Cesium-137 per kg.

“The Health Ministry wants to make clear that the (Meiji Step) baby formula has not been imported into Malaysia,” Liow said.

According to Liow, this was based on information he had received from the Food Safety Information System of Malaysia (FoSim).

He added that all food imported from areas in Japan that were at risk from radioactive contamination, including Saitama prefecture, underwent Pemeriksaan Tahap 5 (Tahan, Uji & Lepas) as part of FoSim's procedure.

“Through this examination process,” Liow said, “samples from the food consignments are analysed for radioactive contamination. The consignment is cleared only if the sample complies with safety standards.”

He added that if members of the public still had doubts about the safety of any food product, they could make a report to the Health Ministry at their nearest district health office (PKD) or state health department (JKN).

Alternatively, they could do so online at the ministry's website.

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