17 Oct 2008

Products recalled due to melamine contamination

10:14 pm on 17 October 2008

The food standards authority has recalled two products made in China which have tested positive for low levels of the industrial chemical melamine.

Products contaminated with melamine, which is normally used in plastic products, have killed at least four children and made 53,000 sick in mainland China.

Food Standards Australia New Zealand has ordered importers and wholesalers to withdraw First Milk Vanilla Drink and Tiramisu Cake with Cheese Cream from sale in Australia.

The products are not sold in New Zealand.

The authority's spokesperson, Lydia Bucktman, says the levels found were 5.8 and 4.4 parts per million, respectively.

The world accepted standard of melamine is 2.5 parts per million.

Ms Bucktman says the quantities found are far lower than the amount of melamine found recently in White Rabbit Candies sold in New Zealand, which were 180 parts per million.

Thousands still in hospital

The Chinese health ministry said on Friday nearly 6,000 Chinese babies remain hospitalised, six of them in serious condition, with kidney problems caused by contaminated milk powder.

Officials in the major dairy-producing region of Inner Mongolia say they have asked the country's two largest dairies to buy raw milk from larger-scale providers to allow better quality control in future.