Note Lotte Koala biscuits and Nissin cup noodles (snacks popular with young kids and the latter with middle to high school kids) have been noted in recent news to be tainted with melamine and a bug pesticide respectively … the scandal involving made-in-Japan products this time following the spate of scandals involving made-in-China products. See press articles posted below.
Nissin recalls cup noodles
Fri, Oct 24, 2008 AFP
TOKYO – JAPAN’S Nissin Food Products said on Friday it was recalling half a million cups of instant noodles over fears of insecticide contamination in the latest food safety scare to rock the country’s consumers.
A 67-year-old woman vomited and felt numbness on her tongue after eating Nissin’s Cup Noodle this week in the Tokyo suburb of Fujisawa, the city’s health office said late on Thursday.
The product was made at a Nissin factory in Japan. A series of previous scares have involved food imported from China.
The health office said on inspecting the Cup Noodle they had discovered paradichlorobenzene, the key chemical in bug repellent, but no puncture or other abnormality in the cup.
Nissin was voluntarily recalling around 500,000 cups made on the same factory line the same day, a company spokesman said.
They were sold at supermarkets in Tokyo and neighbouring areas with most of them already gone from store shelves, he said.
‘We apologise for causing trouble to Cup Noodle lovers,’ Nissin president Susumu Nakagawa told reporters late on Thursday.
However, he denied the possibility of contamination at the factory, saying it had never used or stored the insecticide and had seven security cameras watching manufacturing lines.
‘It is unthinkable that the contamination occurred at our production lines,’ he said.
The noodles scare spread on Friday as another company, Myojo Foods of Tokyo, said it found instant noodles laced with paradichlorobenzene and naphthol, also used as bug repellent.
A man ‘poured in hot water and noticed chemical smells’, said a health official in Yososuka, southwest of Tokyo. The man was unhurt as he did not eat the noodles.
Nissin, based in the western Japan city of Osaka, created instant ramen noodles as Japan’s economy grew rapidly after World War II. Aimed at busy people on the go, it has since become a multibillion-dollar industry.
Japan has been on alert after a series of health scares involving food, mostly made in China.
Earlier this month one woman fell sick after eating frozen green beans imported from China, which were found to contain thousands of times the permissible level of pesticide residue.
20 more tainted products
Julie’s products banned; Malaysia-made Khong Guan items also affected
By Tessa Wong
Some of the tainted products include Khong Guan Assorted Biscuits (seen here), Lotte Koala’s March Cocoa Chocolate Biscuit, Santa Chocolate Gold Fingers, Hello Kitty Strawberry Cream Filled Biscuit and Julie’s Sugar Crackers. The AVA has said the levels of melamine in the items are low but has urged people not to eat them. — PHOTOS: AGRI-FOOD AND VETERINARY AUTHORITY
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MELAMINE has been found in 20 more food products, making it the biggest batch of items discovered by the Agri-Food and Veterinary Authority (AVA) to contain the potentially harmful chemical.
They include well-known products such as Lotte Koala biscuits and Julie’s crackers.
Malaysia-made products on tainted list
THE 20 new items found to contain melamine are:
Lotte Koala’s March Cocoa Chocolate Biscuit
Three of them are from China while 17 are from Malaysia, making this also the first time that non-China products available here have been found to be tainted.
Also among them were Khong Guan biscuits made in Malaysia. Khong Guan biscuits made in Singapore are still safe to eat, as well as other biscuits made here, the AVA said.
Two of the China-made products, the Lotte Koala’s March Cocoa Chocolate Biscuit and Hello Kitty Strawberry Cream Filled Biscuit, should have been removed from shelves by now.
The third, an unbranded non-dairy creamer meant for re-export and never sold in stores or used in food production here, has been sealed in the manufacturer’s warehouse.
On Sept 19, the AVA banned all China dairy and other products which may contain China dairy, such as confectionery.
The made-in-Malaysia tainted items, which comprise 12 Julie’s products and five other brands, are to be withdrawn immediately from shelves.
The AVA has also imposed a ban on all Julie’s products. Test results for other Malaysia-imported biscuits have proven that they are safe to eat for now.
The AVA has urged those who bought the tainted products not to consume them.
It has said that the levels of melamine in the products are low. For example, an adult weighing 60kg would have to eat 378 pieces of Julie’s Golden Kaka Crackers every day of his life to be in any danger.
Melamine, a chemical more commonly found in plastic, has been at the centre of a worldwide food scandal which originated in China.
It was added to milk to artificially boost its protein content, and has since caused four infant deaths in China and thousands of others to fall ill with kidney-related sicknesses.
Dozens of places including Hong Kong, Canada, France and India have pulled China dairy products as a result.
As of yesterday, over 3,200 types of milk and milk products, chocolates, biscuits, non-dairy creamers and other products have been taken in for analysis.
The number of tainted items here has now more than doubled, from 13 to 33. They include ice-cream bars, milk candy, flavoured milk and crackers.