Thursday 29 May 2014

No pork DNA in Cadbury chocs in Singapore: AVA

It confirms no such imports but will check all similar products
By Royston Sim, The Straits Times, 28 May 2014

THE Agri-Food and Veterinary Authority (AVA) has confirmed that Singapore did not import the batch of Cadbury chocolates that contained traces of pork DNA.

Still, it will conduct checks on all similar Cadbury products available here. This is to "ensure that the ingredients used in the manufacturing of the products are truly as declared under the statement of ingredients", the AVA said in a statement on Monday.

Cadbury Malaysia is conducting a full review of its supply chain after it had to recall its Cadbury Dairy Milk Hazelnut and Cadbury Dairy Milk Roast Almond items, which were found with traces of porcine DNA, The Star newspaper reported yesterday.

A check with local supermarket chains, including FairPrice, found that consumers have not raised concerns about Cadbury chocolates so far.

A FairPrice spokesman said it has confirmed with suppliers that it does not carry the affected products in its stores, and will continue to monitor the situation closely.

A Sheng Shiong spokesman said: "As AVA has clarified this incident very clearly, our customers didn't seem to have an issue with Cadbury chocolates carried and sold here."

She added that the Cadbury chocolates sold at its 33 stores are imported from Australia.

A spokesman for Dairy Farm, which runs the Cold Storage and Giant chains, said it has not received any queries or feedback from customers.

Cold Storage imports Cadbury chocolates from Australia and Britain, while Giant gets its chocolates from Australia, she added.

The Malaysian government has said it will conduct inspection of all of Cadbury Malaysia's products.

Reuters reported that the pork traces were found during a periodic check for non-halal ingredients in foods by Malaysia's Ministry of Health. In a post on its Facebook page, Cadbury Malaysia said all other Malaysian-made products were not impacted by the test.

Muslims make up more than 60 per cent of Malaysia's population. Like most food makers in the country, Cadbury Malaysia has all of its products certified halal to conform with Islamic dietary restrictions, which prohibit pork.

* Cadbury chocs free of pork, says Malaysia's Islamic authority
By Yong Yen Nie Malaysia Correspondent In Kuala Lumpur, The Straits Times, 3 Jun 2014

MALAYSIA's Islamic authority has said samples of chocolates from British confectionery company Cadbury it tested were free of pork DNA, a week after the Health Ministry sparked an outcry over the discovery of chocolates that contained porcine DNA.

Minister in charge of Islamic affairs Jamil Khir Baharom said Muslims may consume Cadbury chocolates after all, as the Malaysian Islamic Development Department (Jakim) has cleared them of porcine deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA).

Jakim had, on May 26, taken 11 samples directly from Cadbury's manufacturing plant in Shah Alam in Selangor, for testing with a Jakim-accredited lab.

These included samples of the two products earlier found to be tainted - Cadbury Dairy Milk Hazelnut and Cadbury Dairy Milk Roast Almond - four other products in a similar production line, and five types of raw materials that may be of animal origin.

"Lab analysis concluded that pork DNA was not found in the samples," Datuk Seri Jamil said in a statement.

On May 24, the Health Ministry said it found pork DNA in samples of the chocolate bars obtained from inspections of food products being sold to consumers, though it did not say where the bars were sourced from.

Jakim will now review its earlier suspension of Cadbury's halal certification.

Last week, Cadbury Malaysia was forced to recall the two chocolate products nationwide amid backlash from the Muslim community here as Islam forbids its followers to consume pork. Several Muslim non-governmental organisations have threatened to boycott all Cadbury products.

The pork DNA scare spread to other Muslim-majority nations such as Indonesia and Saudi Arabia, with the authorities checking Cadbury chocolate bars there.

Singapore's Agri-Food and Veterinary Authority last Tuesday confirmed that it did not import the batch of Cadbury chocolates that contained the traces of pork DNA.

Mr Jamil said the test results from Jakim could be different from the Health Ministry's as the samples tested by the ministry had not come directly from the factory and could have been contaminated.

Health Ministry director-general Hisham Abdullah said the ministry is working with the Islamic authorities to find out why the test results were different.

"Perhaps it was isolated contamination," he told The Straits Times yesterday. "The Ministry of Health is still trying to identify the source."

Cadbury Malaysia, which had earlier said that there were no pork traces in its chocolates, said it was delighted by the latest news.

"We assure our customers and consumers that all our products are properly labelled and consumers can enjoy them with confidence," Ms Raja Zalina Raja Safran, its head of corporate affairs, said in a statement.

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