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Vets detect melamine in food

VETS have discovered high traces of melamine in four kinds of food products stored in a customs warehouse in Nitra.

VETS have discovered high traces of melamine in four kinds of food products stored in a customs warehouse in Nitra.

Melamine is an organic compound illegally added to food to mimic high protein counts. In large doses, it can cause kidney failure or death in children and animals.

The substance has been making headlines since last month, when Chinese officials discovered that it had been used in the production of some domestic milk products, including baby formula.

Mária Kantíková, head of the State Veterinary and Food Institute in Dolný Kubín, told the SITA news agency on October 10 that tests showed the amount of melamine in these samples was three to four times higher than normal.

“In the tested samples, 8 to 11 mg/kilogram of melamine was confirmed, while the maximum amount allowable is 2.5 mg/kg,” Kantíková said.

The cookies and bars tested positively for high content of melamine had not been shipped to shops or markets.

“We started to perform the checks and inspections after the melamine scandal in China,” she said. “We check about 10 specimens daily in which dried milk is used.”

In Slovakia, only one sample of one product has tested positive so far. On October 3, a milk drink called “Milk drink 245 ml” tested positive for 14.4 mg/kg of melamine. Inspectors from the Regional Veterinary and Food Administration in Bratislava ordered the the drinks be burned immediately.

The latest statistics published by Chinese authorities show almost 47,000 children have been hospitalised with illnesses related to milk contaminated with melamine.

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