Hong Kong is stepping up its tests of mainland Chinese food
products, and is asking China's
help to trace the source of melamine contamination in eggs.
Health secretary York Chow said Hong Kong's
Centre for Food Safety will begin testing Chinese pork, farmed fish and
Testing of animal feed, chicken meat and eggs will also be
Hong Kong scientists found excessive levels
of melamine in one brand of mainland eggs on Saturday.
The extra-large "Select Fresh Brown Eggs" imported from
the Hanwei Group in Dalian
in northeastern China,
were found to have nearly twice the legal limit of melamine.
"We have contacted the mainland's food safety agency and hope
they can do more to reduce the risk at the source," Mr Chow told reporters.
He suggested the contamination may have come from animal feeds.
"Since some animal feed used on the mainland might have been
polluted by melamine, our tests will target more on meat imported from the
mainland," Mr Chow said.
"As we have found melamine in eggs, we shall also test chicken
meat and we shall also look at offal, for example, chicken kidneys and pig
kidneys," he said.
The government plans to test all eggs imported from the mainland
Feed used by Hong Kong-based farmers appears to be free of
contamination in tests conducted so far, and local farmers have said they
do not use imported feed.
The latest tests are part of an ongoing scandal about milk and other
food products made in China
and tainted with the industrial chemical melamine.
Tens of thousands of Chinese babies have been sickened by toxic
milk products, many of them developing kidney problems. At least four
babies have died since news of the contamination emerged almost two months
Chinese food products, from milk to chocolates to yogurts and
drinks have been banned around the world, and tests continue to pinpoint
problems in China's
food safety regimen.
Hong Kong has imposed a limit on melamine use
in foods, restricting it to no more than 2.5 milligrams per kilogramme. Melamine found in food meant for children
under three and lactating mothers should be no higher than one mg per kg.
Earlier this month, China's
chief food inspection official said the Chinese tainted milk scandal was
now under control.