Travel Bulletin - Contaminated Milk Products
The Chinese government has announced that traces of a chemical contaminant, melamine, have been found in a number of products and may be linked to cases of renal (kidney) problems in infants. A Chinese Health Ministry official has reported the number of infants affected by contaminated product produced in China has risen to nearly 40,000 cases.
The Chinese government has issued recalls for infant formula from 22 companies after tests turned up traces of melamine. Two of these companies exported their products to Bangladesh, Burundi, Myanmar, Gabon and Yemen. While contamination in those exported products remains unconfirmed, a recall has been ordered from China.
Chinese authorities are also testing other dairy products. Low levels of melamine contamination have been identified in liquid milk from three of China’s largest milk processors. Testing of milk produced by smaller processors is continuing.
Chinese authorities have also tested samples of imported dairy products from 18 countries and regions and have confirmed that no melamine was detected.
Japan, Hong Kong, Malaysia, Brunei, Bangladesh and Singapore have banned imports of all dairy products from China and have issued product recalls for certain brands of infant milk formula, milk, yoghurt, ice cream, candy, canned coffee drinks and buns. Singapore and Japan have extended the ban to include confectionery such as chocolate, biscuits and sweets, as well as any other product containing milk from China as an ingredient.
Australians overseas are advised to avoid all milk products manufactured in China, until further information is available, unless the manufacturers have confirmed their products are free from contamination. Food standards Australia New Zealand (FSANZ) has issued a warning to caregivers not to use any infant formula manufactured in China. For further information on impacts of this within Australia please visit the FSANZ website.
Melamine is used in making plastics and is high in nitrogen, which registers as protein in tests of milk. Though health experts believe ingesting minute amounts poses minimal risk, melamine can cause kidney stones, which can lead to kidney failure. Infants are particularly vulnerable. The World Health Organization is maintaining a list of frequently asked questions on melamine."
This Bulletin is current for Monday, 06 October 2008.
For more information,please click http://www.smarttraveller.gov.au/zw-cgi/view/TravelBulletins/Contaminated_dairy_products