Lotte Confectionary, the countrys biggest snack manufacturer, is the latest food company to fall victim to the melamine scare after the hazardous substance was detected in a snack made by a Lotte subsidiary in China.
The Korea Food and Drug Administration said Saturday that the nitrogen-based chemical was found in Lottes Choudy, Mars Koreas Snickers Peanuts Fun Size and M&Ms Milk, Nestle Koreas KitKat Mini.
Four samples of Choudy made on different dates were found to contain 2.4-3.36 parts per million of melamine, whereas KitKat contained 2.89 and M&Ms Milk and Snickers Peanuts Fun Size 1.78 ppm.
Lotte said it will recall and dispose of all Choudy packs distributed in the market, as well as Apple Jam and Strawberry Cookie that are also manufactured by its Chinese subsidiary in Qingdao.
Though the amount of detected melamine is lower than the acceptable global level, we have begun to retrieve the products in question, Mars Korea said. Nestle Korea will recall all KitKat Mini from stores and request a reexamination.
Mars Korea and Nestle Korea, however, will continue selling the products manufactured on the same lines as the melamine-tainted products, including M&M Nuts, Snickers Peanut, Snickers Almond, Dove Chocolate and KitKat Chocolate Wafer Stick.
Along with products manufactured through original equipment manufacturing contracts, this is the first time that melamine was detected in products manufactured by a Chinese subsidiary of a Korean food company.
CJ, Nongshim, Orion and Crown Confectionary, which also run factories in China, have begun to publicize the safety of their products to avoid a backlash.
CJ opened a food safety center in its plants in China at the end of 2006 to become the first Korean food company to regularly check the safety of Chinese-made products and raw materials, said a CJ source. We are also regularly monitoring raw material suppliers in China.
A Nongshim spokesman said, Since the outbreak of the melamine scare, we have dispatched Korean employees to our Chinese factories and have been testing for chemical compounds -- not only melamine but also materials with less likely to be added on food every time raw materials arrive.
On the discovery of melamine in its products, Haitai Confectionary and Foods has drawn up reinforced product safety measures, including a customer assurance service jointly run by its customer support center and family medicine specialists. In addition, Haitai will take legal action against the Chinese OEM manufacturer Carnival.