DEH issues warning against Chinese milk

Department of Environmental Health officials are warning the public, especially Cayman’s Asian community, against consuming milk-based products manufactured in China.

Two health information advisories were issued by the US Food and Drug Administration: one on 12 September concerning Chinese manufactured infant formula, and the second on 20 September regarding milk-based products manufactured in China.

All local distributors and supermarkets were checked for the presence of Chinese infant formula and none was found in the Cayman Islands. However, DEH officials are now investigating for the presence of milk-based products manufactured in China.

Of special interest to DEH officials is “White Rabbit Creamy Candy’, as these Chinese candies are among the best-known candy brands in China and one of the few exported widely. These Chinese candies were recently removed from American supermarket shelves after tests showed they were contaminated.

The list of contaminated Chinese milk-based products includes items such as whole milk powder, non-fat milk powder, whey powder, lactose powder and casein, from which cheese is made.

These products should all be discarded by the public, even if found at home, as they may be contaminated with melamine or a melamine analog, advised the DEH.

Melamine artificially increases the protein profile of milk and can cause kidney diseases such as those currently being seen in Chinese infants.

Persons with questions concerning their health status should contact their healthcare providers, the release said.

At press time Friday, the DEH had found no evidence of Chinese milk-based products being sold locally. Foster’s Food Fair and Kirk Supermarket confirmed to the Caymanian Compass that they had been unaffected by the contamination.

For more information, please contact either DEH at 949-6696 or the Public Health Department on 244-2648.

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