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Consumers need not worry about melamine

KUALA LUMPUR, 26 Sept 2008: The Health Ministry has advised consumers not to worry about the melamine issue as appropriate action has been taken on the matter.

“Still, consumers are advised to always read the labels on food before buying products from the market,” said the ministry’s Food Safety and Quality Division director Noraini Mohd Othman, in a statement here today.

Till today, 881 products from 27 companies have been declared free from melamine.

Samples from food products are being analysed by the Chemistry Department to ensure the products meet safety standards before being allowed on the market.

Besides that, food industries have also given assurance that food products did not contain milk from China.  

Consumers can get the latest information on the melamine issue on the ministry’s website

Complaints or enquiries can be made on the ministry’s operations room hotlines at 03-88833655, 03-88833503, 03-88833500 and 03-88833652.

The Veterinary Services Department has also stopped issuing import permits for milk in liquid form and dairy products, including livestock products from China, since 15 Aug and suspended the permits officially on 19 Sept after reports emerged about infant deaths in China due to melamine in milk.

The department’s public relations officer, Dr Muhammad Nazri Khairuddin, in a statement today said this year most milk and dairy products on the local market were from countries like New Zealand, Australia and European nations.

He said as a result of import permits up till August 2008, a total of 180,500 metric tonnes of milk and dairy products were imported of which only 1,027 metric tonnes were from China which represented 0.57% of the local market.

Dairy products allowed in from China were ice-cream and casseinate, products for which the milk came from countries free from Foot and Mouth Disease.

According to the statement, milk from China is not allowed to be imported as that country is not free from the disease.

The Veterinary Services Department also has a Veterinary Health Mark to ensure the quality of dairy products.

According to Dr Muhammad Nazri, a monitoring system based on ‘Good Manufacturing Practice’ and ‘Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point’ is also exercised to ensure that livestock products are safe for consumption.

All these ensure the quality and safety of local products and their export.

Malaysian value-added dairy products have successfully penetrated international markets, including Australia, and last year 81,464 metric tonnes were exported worth RM817 million. — Bernama


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