Hot Topic: Food Safety

October 1st, 2008 | Sources: Boston Globe

China’s tainted milk scandal continues to spread beyond its borders.

Yesterday Cadbury, the UK candy maker recalled 11 kinds of chocolates produced in its Beijing plant because they contained melamine, the same toxin that sickened 53,000 Chinese infants and children.

Candies from the Beijing plant are normally distributed to Australia, Hong Kong, Taiwan and several Pacific island nations. A spokesperson for the company indicated that Cadbury products being sold in the US are not affected and will not be recalled.

US candy makers Hershey and Mars stated their candy is safe. For its part, H. J. Heinz Co. said yesterday it would no longer use Chinese milk in products it distributes to Hong Kong and the mainland.

Meanwhile this week in the US, the country-of-origin law (aka COOL) goes live. The law should help trace food distribution systems during outbreaks of tainted food such as the ones traced to California-grown spinach, salmonella-tainted Mexican peppers and now, Chinese milk.

Many hail COOL as progress, but it contains dozens of maddening loopholes. Fresh strawberries must carry a COOL label for example, but there is no such requirement for chocolate-covered strawberries. Raw peanuts need a label, but not roasted peanuts. Go figure.


 

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