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Published: Thursday October 16, 2008 MYT 12:54:00 PMUpdated: Thursday October 16, 2008 MYT 4:21:44 PM
By TEH ENG HOCK
PUTRAJAYA: PUTRAJAYA: Excessive melamine was found in 18 of 47 biscuits produced by the Khong Guan and Khian Guan brands and they have been ordered removed from the shelves immediately.
“We have also requested that they voluntarily recall the rest of the products (the remaining 29),” said Health Minister Datuk Liow Tiong Lai
Asked if they had agreed to do so, Liow said: “Yes, they are very responsive. They are all responsible companies.”
The 18 biscuit products were found to have melamine in excess of the permissable 2.5mg/kg or 2.5 parts per million (ppm).
Liow said the Ministry had traced the source of the melamine to ammonium bicarbonate imported by both manufacturers from China.
“Results from our tests found that Khong Guan biscuits contained 33.4ppm while Khian Guan contained 508ppm,” he said.
As such, Liow had banned the import of ammonium bicarbonate from China, placing the substance under Level 6 Examination (Auto Rejection), while ammonium bicarbonate from other countries were placed under Level 4 Examination (Surveilance Examination) under the Food Safety Information of Malaysia (FoSIM).
Excessive melamine was first linked to contaminated dairy products, but Liow said the Ministry would now be more alert and test more products other than those with dairy content due to the ammonium bicarbonate findings.
Ammonium bicarbonate is usually used as a raising agent in biscuit production and is allowed under the Food Rules 1985 but strict action had to be taken to protect the health of consumers, he said.
“All factories that use ammonium bicarbonate from China will have their products tested. We will test all biscuits in the country,” he said.
He said that food with dairy content from China had been placed under Level 6 Examination, and with the latest revelation, all imported biscuits had been placed under Level 4 Examination.
Meanwhile, he said the Ministry is looking into Julie’s Crackers and Mali unsweetened condensed milk, which was reported in the media to contain excessive levels of melamine.
Liow said consumers could contact the Food Services and Quality division at 03-8883 3655/3503/3652/3500.
On Oct 6, White Rabbit Creamy Candy was found to contain more than 50 times the permitted level of melamine and was banned by the ministry.
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