Wednesday, October 22, 2008


Results of melamine tests on biscuits still pending: Dept


The Kota Kinabalu Health Department is still waiting for the results of the tests on the level of melamine in the popular Khong Guan biscuits produced by the Khong Guan factory in Inanam here. A Health Officer in the Department, Dr Asit Sanna, said that they already took some samples ofbiscuits from the factory last week to conduct the test following an order from the Health Department to recall 12 types of biscuits from the company’s factory in Johor. “We are still waiting for the test results on the melamine level in the biscuits taken from the Khong Guan factory in Inanam,” he said in a phone interview with The Borneo Post yesterday. According to Dr Asit, currently only the Khong Guan biscuits produced in its factory in Johor have shown higher than the permitted level of melamine. The melamine level in the biscuits was between 3.28mg and 22mg per kilogram, which is more than the allowed 2.5mg/kg or 2.5 ppm. However, he said, so far the Sabah Health Department here has not issued any order to close the factory as the results of the tests on the samples taken from the factory in Inanam are still pending. On Oct 20, the factory’s workers in the production section claimed they had been given five days’ leave from last Friday and would resume work only on Wednesday or Thursday, depending on the tests conducted by the Health Department on their biscuits. “The factory probably ceased operations for five days on the order of their own management ... we never issued any order to them to cease their operations or close the factory. “If the test results show that the melamine levels are higher than permitted, then only will we issue the order to close the factory,” said Dr Asit. On Oct 14, the Johor Health Department seized 107 tonnes of biscuits and raw materials such as flour, cream, ammonium bicarbonate and sodium bicarbonate worth RM561,000 from the factory in Senai. Among the biscuits were the Soda Biscuits, Lemon Puff, Butter Cream, Baby Fish, Healthy Cracker, Cocoa Puff, Sandwich Oren, Family Crackers and Mini Puff. On Oct 16, the Government prohibited the import of baking powder (ammonium bicarbonate) from China following the recent findings of higher than allowed levels of melamine in them. The next day, Khong Guan promised to cooperate with the Health Department and take the necessary action to ensure that 18 of their products are safe for sale.