Malaysia shuts down biscuit factory in melamine scare

Kuala Lumpur - Malaysia ordered the immediate closure of a biscuit factory after two of its products were found to contain high levels of melamine during a laboratory test by the Hong Kong government, officials said Monday.

The Health Ministry has sealed the factory pending tests on products made by biscuit manufacturer Munchy Food Industries, said a ministry spokesperson.

Hong Kong's Centre for Food Safety recently announced it found a sample of Munchy's Mini Crackers with Peanut Butter contained 5.4 parts per million (ppm) of melamine, while a sample of Munchy's Mini Crackers with Cheese Cream had 3.8 ppm.

Under Hong Kong regulations, the limit for melamine in these products was 2.5 ppm.

Munchy's released a statement Sunday saying its crackers only contained dairy-based ingredients from either France or Australia, and not from China.

It pledged to cooperate fully with the ministry in the testing of its products.

"As a reputable 18-year-old homegrown manufacturer of confectionaries with a strong international brand presence, we have consistently viewed consumer food safety as a top priority," said company chief executive officer CK Tan.

Malaysia's health ministry has periodically released statements notifying the public of products tested and found free of melamine.

The ministry's website has a list of food and food products which have been certified as safe for consumption.

Officials have also advised members of the public to stop buying unlabelled biscuits from markets. (dpa)