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FDA Finds Melamine in Flavored Drink

Oct 7, 2008 | Parker Waichman LLP In response to the ongoing melamine contamination problem that originated in China, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has increased inspections and product testing efforts.  Testing just revealed melamine contamination in Blue Cat Flavor Drinks, which are distributed by Tristar Food Wholesale Co. Inc.  Tristar recalled several flavors of Blue Cat Flavor Drink, based on the FDA’s findings.  The FDA is advising the public not to consume Blue Cat Flavor Drink and recommends retailers and food service operators remove the product from sale or service.

Earlier, on September 26, the FDA issued an alert to consumers that seven Mr. Brown instant coffee and milk tea products were being recalled by Taiwan’s King Car Food Industrial Co. Ltd., over possible contamination with melamine.  King Car Food used a non-dairy creamer manufactured by Shandong Duqing Inc., China, which was contaminated with melamine. The recalled Mr. Brown products are:  Mandheling Blend Instant Coffee (3-in-1), Arabica Instant Coffee (3-in-1), Blue Mountain Blend Instant Coffee (3-in-1), Caramel Macchiato Instant Coffee (3-in-1), French Vanilla Instant Coffee (3-in-1), Mandhling Blend instant Coffee (2-in-1), and Milk Tea (3-in-1).  The FDA recommends consumers not consume these Mr. Brown instant coffee and milk tea products and that retailers and foodservice operators remove these products from sale or service.  Sunny Maid Corp. Monterey Park, California, importer and distributor of Mr. Brown Instant Coffee products, is recalling the products in the U.S.

The FDA is working with regulatory agencies nationally and internationally.  Also, the California Department of Public Health and New Zealand Food Safety Authority reported testing of White Rabbit Creamy Candies revealed melamine contamination at high levels.  The FDA continues to recommend consumers not eat White Rabbit Creamy Candy and retailers and foodservice operations remove White Rabbit Creamy Candy from sale or service.  A recall by QFCO Inc., of the White Rabbit Creamy Candies, is ongoing in the U.S.

Meanwhile, the FDA issued a Health Information Advisory on September 12 to assure American consumers that there is no known threat of melamine contamination in infant formula manufactured by companies that have met requirements to sell such products in the U.S.  The FDA also warned Chinese communities in the U.S. that infant formula manufactured in China, possibly available in Asian markets, could pose a risk to infants and is also advising consumers not to purchase infant formula made in China from Internet sites or other sources.  The FDA contacted companies that manufacture infant formula for distribution in the U.S. and received confirmation that they are not importing formula or sourcing milk-based materials from China.

The FDA—collaborating with state and local officials—began a nation-wide investigation of Asian markets for Chinese manufactured infant formula that may have been brought into the U.S., with a focus on Los Angeles, San Francisco, Seattle, and New York due to their large Asian communities.  Investigators have visited over 1,800 retail markets.  The FDA is also working closely with Customs and Border Protection within the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, other federal agencies, and foreign governments.

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