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Heinz to stop using Chinese milk in its products

New Mexico Business Weekly

H.J. Heinz Co. will stop using milk from China in its products, the company announced Monday.

The decision comes amid concerns about melamine contamination.

“In order to reassure consumers about the safety of Heinz products, Heinz has made the strategic decision to switch our milk supply in China and Hong Kong to non-Chinese sources,” the company said in a statement. ”We are testing all dairy ingredients for melamine prior to use in our factories.”

Last week, Heinz recalled 270 cases of baby cereal in Hong Kong after testing found trace levels of melamine.

About 1.6 mg/kg of melamine were found in the batch of Heinz Intelligence Many Many Vegetable Cereal, the company said, compared to 2,500 mg/kg found in tainted milk powder products that have sickened thousands of infants and killed four in China.

Heinz (NYSE:HNZ) said all of its other products tested free of any melamine. The recall was a precautionary move, according to a company statement.

Some suppliers allegedly added the chemical, used in plastic-making, to boost the tested protein content in diluted milk, the Chinese government has said.

Low doses of melamine are not dangerous, according to the World Health Organization, but larger ingested quantities can lead to kidney stones or failure.

“The melamine levels detected in the one Heinz Hong Kong product are 25 times lower than internationally accepted safety levels,” according to a statement released by Heinz Monday. “Babies on average eat half a 200 g pack per day. At the levels found, a baby would have to consume more than 12 packs every day to exceed safety levels. Heinz is confident that this one affected product is safe to consume.”

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