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2 More Melamine-tainted Snacks Found

Posted October. 01, 2008 03:00,   


The Korea Food and Drug Administration said yesterday that melamine was detected in “Ritz Cracker Sandwiches Cheese” produced by Nabisco Food Suzhou, a Chinese subsidiary of the U.S. brand, and “Savory Rice Cracker” by the Chinese company Danyang Day Bright Foods.

The cheese crackers contained 23.3 parts per million of melamine and the rice crackers 1.77 parts per million, and the first time that the industrial chemical was detected in products from a multi-national food manufacturer.

Dongsuh Food imported 87 tons of the cheese crackers and Hwatong & Babanggeu imported 218 tons of the rice crackers.

The food watchdog, however, said low levels of melamine do not pose a serious health risk.

According to the European Food Safety Authority, health problems arise when a child weighing 30 kilograms eats 5.7 boxes of Ritz Cheese daily over a long period of time.

The additional announcement, however, caused an uproar since the two snacks were included among 123 items the food watchdog announced as safe Friday.

Food authorities inspected a selected number of goods with certain manufacturing dates. The same kind of items can contain different levels of melamine since different manufacturing dates could mean different suppliers of raw materials.

In the case of Rice Cracker, however, the same cracker with the same manufacturing date that had been confirmed safe Friday was declared unsafe yesterday.

A housewife in southern Seoul said, “I bought the snack because the Korea Food and Drug Administration homepage said it was safe. Now I’m confused. I don’t know whom to trust.”

The food administration said, “If the ingredients were not evenly mixed, snacks with the same manufacturing date could have different test results. Inspections were carried out by our Daejeon and Busan branches. Though our Daejeon branch raised suspicion, we determined it was safe because the level was very low. But this time, the Busan branch detected high levels of melamine.”