Pennsylvania Food Poisoning News and Recalls -- October 2008
White Rabbit Creamy Candy brand candy made in China and sold in the United States has been found to contain the industrial chemical melamine. The candy was discovered at four different stores in Connecticut on Wednesday, October 1, 2008. In September, the FDA warned consumers about White Rabbit candy because of concerns over possible melamine contamination. Melamine tainted samples of the candy were also found in California in September. Melamine is at the heart of China’s scandal over contaminated dairy products. Used to make plastics and fertilizers, melamine is sometimes illegally mixed into food products, including milk, because its high level of nitrogen helps fool tests that measure protein levels. In September, Chinese authorities acknowledged that more than 53,000 Chinese infants had been sickened after consuming powdered baby formula that had been contaminated with melamine. Of that total, 13,000 were hospitalized and four died.
BLUE CAT YOGURT DRINKS
On October 3, 2008, Tristar Food Wholesale of Jersey City, New Jersey, announced that Chinese-made yogurt drinks called Blue Cat Flavor Drink, or Lanmao, have been found to contain melamine. These drinks are sold nationwide at Asian grocery stores and come in several fruit flavors, including strawberry, orange, pineapple and peach. Melamine first came to the attention of U.S. consumers last year, when it touched off a massive pet food recall. Chinese suppliers of bulk pet food ingredients were found to have been adding the chemical to artificially boost the protein readings of their products. Thousands of pets here were sickened, and hundreds are believed to have died. Melamine is harmful to the kidneys. It can cause kidney stones as the body tries to eliminate it, and in extreme cases, life-threatening kidney failure.
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