Part II of II What should grocery product procurement professionals know and do about Melamine.

December 2nd, 2008

What is melamine? Melamine is a small

What is melamine? Melamine is a small, nitrogen-containing molecule that has a number of industrial uses and is not approved for direct addition to human or animal foods marketed in the United States.

According to the FDA, in food products other than infant formula, the FDA concludes levels of melamine and melamine-related compounds below 2.5 parts per million (ppm) do not raise health concerns. This conclusion assumes a worst case exposure scenario in which 50% of a person’s diet is contaminated at this level, and applies a 10-fold safety factor to the Tolerable Daily Intake (TDI) to account for any uncertainties. The TDI is an estimate of the maximum amount of an agent to which an individual could be exposed on a daily basis over the course of a lifetime without an appreciable health risk.

As the melamine in milk products from China problem continues to grow apace, Sciencebase presents a succinct list of melamine contaminated food list culled from the most recent news results on the subject. This is by no means an exhaustive list nor is it a condemnation of any particular products; it’s here merely to raise awareness of what is happening with regard to the melamine in milk scandal.

• Powdered baby milk.
• HK finds melamine in Chinese-made cheesecake.
• Cookies With Melamine Found in Netherlands.
• Mr Brown coffee products.
• Manufacturing giant Unilever recalls melamine tainted tea. CNN is also reporting that the Hong Kong authorities Sunday (October 5) announced that two recalled candy products made by British confectioner Cadbury had high levels of melamine.
• Melamine Detected in Two More Ritz Snacks.
• More Chinese-made sweets recalled in Japan.
• White Rabbit brand Chinese candy contaminated: Asian health officials.
• Lipton, Glico and Ritz the latest businesses to be affected by milk powder scandal.
• Hong Kong finds traces of melamine in Cadbury products.
• Recalled Melamine Milk Products include Asian versions of Bairong grape cream crackers, Dove chocolate, Dreyers cake mix, Dutch Lady candy, First Choice crackers, Kraft Oreo wafer sticks, M&Ms, Magnum ice cream, Mentos bottle yoghurt, Snickers funsize, Yili hi-cal milk, Youcan sesame snacks and others. Testing of some of those has already proven negative.
• Melamine Found in More China-Made Products, including Heinz DHA+AA baby cereal.
• 305 Chinese dairy-based products temporarily banned in Korea.
• US bloggers have gone so far as to uncover dozens of products recalled in China that were still on the shelves of their local supermarkets.
• 31 new milk powder brands found tainted.

With the above knowledge, procurement professionals should also make it part of their normal information gathering of RFI process to ask where the products they are buying come from, particularly if you buy from a distributor or broker. In addition, have this document signed by the supplier. Further, you should specifically ask the following question. Do any of your products to your knowledge contain Melamine or any other additives that are not approved by the FDA and other governing bodies.. Although not a scientific solution, it does protect one more level of protection for you and your customers.

We appreciate and look forward to your comments.

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