Agriculture & Industries Commissioner Ron Sparks warned consumers in Alabama last month about melamine contamination in “Koala’s March” crÃ¨me filled cookies manufactured in China. The Department’s Pesticide Residue Laboratory has confirmed the presence of melamine in the “strawberry” and “chocolate” flavors of the cookies. Consumers were advised to discard the products and avoid consumption.
Other flavors of the cookies may have been on the market, but have not been tested by the Department. The company that distributes the cookies, Lotte USA, has been conducting a market withdrawal for all flavors of the cookies, but has not conducted a full recall at this time. It appears that Alabama’s results were their first lab results that were positive for melamine. Commissioner Sparks made this observation:
This is another example of how important the state diagnostic labs are to us here in Alabama. We take food safety issues very seriously and we will continue to work hard to protect consumers.
The Department lab has also confirmed melamine contamination in the already recalled “White Rabbit Creamy Candy,” another Chinese product found in Alabama stores. The Department’s food safety inspectors have pulled all of the recalled products found in stores and samples have been tested for melamine. Ten of the 46 “White Rabbit” samples tested positive for melamine. For more information on products recently recalled due to melamine contamination, visit www.agi.alabama.gov and look under the “Product Recalls” listing.
As we have reported, melamine has recently been linked to contaminated infant formula and other products containing milk protein in China and the massive pet food recalls in 2007. The chemical is used in plastics manufacturing and as an illegal additive in foods to simulate protein.
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