The Japanese government also said Friday it had suspended imports of milk and milk products from China, where some 54,000 children have developed kidney stones or other illnesses after drinking baby formula contaminated with the industrial chemical melamine. Four deaths have been blamed on the tainted milk.
The latest problematic foods were Heinz baby cereal and Silang House steamed potato wasabi crackers. The Hong Kong government said in a statement Friday it found traces of melamine in the products, which were both made in mainland China.
Hong Kong urged the manufacturers to stop selling the products in the Chinese territory. U.S.-based Heinz ordered a recall of the baby cereal as a precautionary measure following the government's announcement, it said in a statement on its website.
Hundreds of international food companies have set up operations in China in recent years, exposing them to the country's notorious product safety problems. Melamine-tainted products have turned up in an increasing number of Chinese-made exports abroad — from candies to yogurt to rice balls.The Chinese territory of Macau said it detected melamine at 24 times the safety limit in products from Japan-based company, Koala's March cookies made by Lotte China Foods Co. The company is a member of a Tokyo-based conglomerate, Lotte Group.
An official at Lotte (China) Investment Co. Ltd. in Shanghai said Friday previous inspections had not shown any problems.
Some Hong Kong supermarkets pulled the chocolate-filled cookies off shelves Friday after the announcement by Macau authorities late Thursday. Cookie packages list whole milk powder as an ingredient.
Only some types of milk powder and milk have been recalled in mainland China so far, but the maker of one of China's most popular candies said Friday it had halted sales because of suspected melamine contamination. White Rabbit candies have already been pulled from shelves around Asia and in Britain.
Ge Junjie, a vice president of Bright Foods (Group) Co. Ltd., was quoted as saying by the official Xinhua News Agency that the company was waiting for test results from the Shanghai Entry-Exit Inspection and Quarantine Bureau.
Meanwhile, Taiwanese authorities reported that three children who consumed Chinese milk formula had developed kidney stones, and doctors were checking whether their illnesses were linked to tainted products.
Six children have also become ill from melamine-tainted products in the Chinese territories of Hong Kong and Macau.
On Thursday, the European Union banned imports of baby food containing Chinese milk. The move by the 27-nation EU adds to the growing list of countries that have banned or recalled Chinese dairy products because of the contamination.