PETALING JAYA: Samples of White Rabbit Creamy Candy have been found to contain more than 50 times the permitted level of melamine.
Tests on Ego White Rabbit Creamy Candy samples showed that the content of melamine was 135 parts per million (ppm) compared with 2.5ppm, the level permitted by the Health Ministry.
Heath Minister Datuk Liow Tiong Lai has ordered outlets to remove the candy from their shelves and destroy all stocks.
Those found disobeying the directive can be prosecuted under the Food Act.
“The ministry has identified the product and company involved and has issued a directive to the state health departments to destroy the product,” he told reporters yesterday at the National Public Health Laboratory.
“They shouldn’t be selling it or giving it away for free. Consumers should also read food labels properly and call us if they have doubts.”
The public should also be on the alert when giving away food hampers or products from China, he said, adding that there were 64 products which have been tested and cleared by the ministry to date.
The latest 14 products to be cleared include Menthos Yogurt, Sam’s Real Scotch Milk Candy, Miow Miow Lobster Peanut Crisp, Crisp Lobster Peanut Crisp, Sanwa Strawberry, Double Lantern Peanut Cake, Daysun Rice Crisp Cheese and Tongxi Foods Chocolate Egg Rolls.
The others are Tongxi Foods Milk Chocolate Egg Roll, Hong Da Food Crisp Blue Berry Layer Biscuit, Lotte Koala Chocolate Snack, ZQ Chocolate Digest Biscuits, Frontier Chocolate Cream Centerfilled and Passion Frugurt Yogurt Style Snack.
He added that 775 product samples had been taken while 2,719 items were taken off the shelves.
On reports which appeared on the Health News and Earthtimes.org websites on Sept 26 that Pizza Hut Taiwan had found melamine at 70ppm in cheese packet made out of creamer and cheese powder, he said tests had found it to be free from the chemical.
The creamer for the cheese packet is supplied by a Malaysian company and it is also used to make products such as three-in-one instant coffee and cereal while the cheese powder is imported from New Zealand.
He said the ministry was also investigating the biscuit factories which were mentioned in media reports that Vietnam had found melamine in their products.
To expedite sample testing, the Chemistry Department, the National Public Health Laboratory, Universiti Malaya and the Doping Control Centre in Universiti Sains Malaysia have been roped in to help out.
Liow said that he hoped to have laboratories in Ipoh, Johor Baru and Kota Kinabalu to conduct testing.
He also said that the ministry would continue with its Level Four alert on fruits and vegetables from China.
Under Level Four, the products are allowed into the market but will be tested and rejected if they are found to contain melamine.