China baby food under check
Manama, October 1, 2008
Officials in Bahrain are carrying out random checks on infant formula in the Kingdom, following a global alert after a series of baby deaths and thousands of poisonings by contaminated products in China.
'We are not letting our guard down,' acting public health director Dr Khairya Moosa, told our sister publication, the Gulf Daily News.
She said inspectors are picking up samples from across stores at random and checking for melamine, the substance responsible for killing at least four babies and leaving thousands of others seriously ill in China.
'We have still not found anything incriminating,' Dr Moosa told the GDN.
'The checks are not only at the points of entry but are an ongoing process.
'These checks will not only continue for as long as the scare is there but even beyond that.' Dr Moosa said it was important to tell the public that Bahrain was safe from the contamined products, which have sparked a worldwide alert .
'We are not letting our guard down. Though a consignment of milk powder at Mina Salman has already been cleared in our own tests, we are still awaiting a certificate from the manufacturers before it is allowed in.'
Nearly three tonnes of milk powder was seized earlier at Mina Salman but tests found the consignment from China was not contaminated with melamine.
Health Ministry food control section head Abdulla Baqer said any food item was tested before being allowed into Bahrain, as standard procedure.
He said extra precautions were being taken in this case, since the milk powder, destined for an ice-cream factory, was from China.
Ministry head of domestic food supply and licensing Ibrahim Hamad said his section had been co-ordinating with the food control section and other authorities, to check every consignment of infant formula or powder milk arriving in Bahrain.
He said that all imports from the UK, where some contaminated powder had already been found and recalled, along with other parts of Europe, were also being screened. - TradeArabia News Service