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3,044 food samples show safe level of melamine

From TheStar newspaper, Wednesday August 11, 2010

KUALA LUMPUR: The 3,044 food samples inspected by the Health Ministry have been found to contain a safe level of melamine, based on World Health Organisation requirements.

“The samples included milk, infant formula, ice-cream, yogurt, soy milk, biscuits, chocolate, confectionaries, fruits and vegetables,” Health Minister Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai said.

The tests were done since early this year on 1,438 samples at entry points while 1,606 were domestic samples, he told reporters after launching the national Food Safety Campaign yesterday.

Liow said the maximum amount of melamine allowed in powdered infant formula was 1mg a kilo and for other food and animal feed (2.5mg a kilo).

On Want Want rice crackers from China, Liow said it was safe for consumption as the factory which manufactured them was not the one which produced rice crackers tainted with coliform and Escherichia coli (E.coli) that could pose a health hazard.

“The imported rice crackers are manufactured in Guangzhou by Guangzhou Big Want Food Limited. It is different from the factory in Shandong that produced the contaminated products,” he said.

He said the information had been confirmed by the general administration of quality supervision, inspection and quarantine of China.

On another topic, Liow dismissed Perkasa as an extremist group and that the MCA was not worried about its threat to punish the party at the next general election.

Liow, who is MCA deputy president, said MCA was a Barisan Nasional component party which brought development for the people.

“Perkasa is just an extremist group with its own political agenda,” he said when asked to respond to Perkasa’s criticisms against the party and its threat of not wanting to support MCA leaders in the next election.