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Watchdogs stop whey tainted by bacteria

WHEY protein imported by infant-products manufacturer Beingmate Group Co Ltd and Wahaha Health Food Co Ltd - both based in Hangzhou, Zhejiang Province - was found to contain a potentially fatal bacteria that can cause meningitis and damage bowel tissue in children, China's quality watchdog said yesterday.

Thirty-seven tons of whey protein imported by Beingmate from the United States and 5.2 tons of Wahaha protein imported from New Zealand were tainted with enterobacter sakazakii bacteria, according to a blacklist containing the names of 159 substandard or inferior imported food and cosmetics products that was released by the General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine.

All the items on the list were banned from entry or destroyed, and none were sold in domestic markets, according to the agency's Website.

Beingmate said in a statement yesterday that the whey protein was intended to be raw material and that none was used in local production.

The baby food manufacturer said it uses only qualified raw material and all its baby formula sold in domestic stores has passed quality checks.

Wahaha Health Food officials were not available for comment yesterday.

The state quality supervisor also found problems with other foods, snacks and beverages, including frozen seafood, chocolates and grape juice from 25 countries such as the US, Japan and France.

Among them, a 2.9-ton batch of the salt ferrous sulfate imported by formula producer Intel Child Nutrition Dairy Co Ltd had faulty packaging and failed to meet standards. Snack-food producer Mars Inc failed quality checks for a batch of malt balls imported from the Great Britain.


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