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No milk from New Zealand - Health Ministry

Tuesday, 6 August 2013 - 1:18 PM SL Time

The Health Ministry yesterday decided to temporarily stop giving port clearance to imported milk products consisting of a high concentration of whey protein, that are suspected to be contaminated with Clostridium Botulinum bacteria.

All milk brands imported from New Zealand will be held back with this decision to stop giving clearance from the harbour, Health Ministry sources told the Daily News.

The whey milk or muscle milk products will not be given port clearance until further notice by the ministry, because of their potential contamination with Clostridium Botulinum bacteria, which can cause food poisoning.

Health Services Director General Dr Palitha Maheepala said they have also decided to remove all products tainted with high concentrations of whey protein that are currently sold in the market.

Furthermore, Dr Maheepala has issued a ministry circular to check samples of all whey protein milk products marketed in Sri Lanka for potential contamination. `The Health Ministry has activated a Detain Test and Release mechanism for whey protein products.

Meanwhile, the Health Ministry has drawn its special attention to the controversy surrounding the content of agrochemical Dicyanadiamide (DCD) in imported milk powders,` ministry sources said.

Health Services Director General Dr Maheepala has instructed the Health Ministry`s Food Control Administration Unit to have all imported milk powder products tested for DCD residuals.

`The tests will be conducted at accredited laboratories in Singapore and Thailand. The Food Advisory Committee will meet today to discuss the types of tests to be conducted for DCD in future, `Health Ministry officials said.

They said there is no need to have any fear over the contamination of DCD in imported milk because there have not been any health issues associated with its effects to this date.

`Tests conducted in internationally acclaimed laboratories using about 177 samples of imported milk have determined that there were no DCD residuals in these items,` they added.

• Daily News

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