Ministry’s milk check on retail outlets


  • Nation
  • Wednesday, 24 Sep 2008

PETALING JAYA: The Government has started checks on retail outlets all over the country for dairy products produced in China.

During the checks, enforcement officers also advised retailers to withdraw from sale certain items which were deemed suspicious until it could be confirmed that they were safe to be consumed.

DAIRY PRODUCTS GIVEN THE ALL-CLEAR

A list containing dairy products which were safe for consumption was also released by the Health Ministry.

The list contains over 170 items across 11 brands consisting of milk powder, chocolates, yoghurt and various other dairy products.

The ministry’s Food Quality and Safety Department director Noraini Mohd Othman said this was the first of three lists they will produce.

“The second will list dairy products from China that are safe to be consumed and the third will be a list of products that are not safe,” she said.

Noraini said time was needed to prepare these lists as tests had to be done on the various dairy products.

She said the first list was released to allay the fears of consumers.

Health Minister Datuk Liow Tong Lai said random checks would be conducted to determine whether food items being sold were safe for consumption.

“The cooperation of wholesalers, consumers and any related parties in this matter are needed,” Liow said after presenting Hari Raya goodies to 150 people in Bentong yesterday.

The ministry also warned all importers or agents to stop importing milk or dairy products from China immediately.

Any remaining stock was to be declared at the nearest district health office, it said in a statement yesterday.

The statement added that dairy products were defined as milk, pasteurised milk, UHT milk, flavoured milk, full cream milk, skim milk, evaporated milk, condensed milk, butter, cheese, ice cream, yoghurt and ghee.

Checks by The Star showed enforcement personnel going around hypermarkets and retail outlets checking on dairy products from China.

Several hypermarkets and shops had also voluntarily withdrawn products from sale.

In Johor, a total of 197.7kg of White Rabbit Creamy Candy was seized.

Johor Health Department director Dr. Mohd Khairi Yakub said the product was seized from a re-packing company from Batu Pahat.

“So far, this is the only company from which we have seized products in the banned category,” he said, adding that there were also products under the “suspect” category.

Consumers are advised to call 03-88833655 to make complaints or for further information.

RELATED STORIES:Dairy firms: Our milk products are safeEducation Ministry to monitor schools for tainted food from China

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