Published on: Wednesday, May 28, 2014
Kota Kinabalu: Most traders in Sabah have begun to remove two Cadbury chocolates - Dairy Milk Hazelnut and Dairy Milk Roast Almond - from their shelves that were found to contain pig DNA.
Domestic Trade, Consumerism and Co-operative Ministry (KPDNKK) Sabah branch director Severinus Tukah said 500 trading premises in the State have been inspected to ensure the two types of chocolate have been cleared from their shelves.
"We have started the inspection on all trading premises involving sundry shops, supermarkets, hypermarkets, markets and shops at main airports in the State since May 26, following public complaints.
"Based on our checks, most traders have shown full cooperation in this matter and many have begun to remove the two types of Cadbury chocolates from their shelves," he said in a statement, Tuesday.
He said the integrated inspection was being conducted together with the Malaysian Islamic Development Department (Jakim) and Ministry of Health.
Severinus said errant traders who do not comply with any direction will face action under Trade Description Order (Halal Definition) 2011 or under Section 5 of the Trade Description Act 2011 which carries a maximum fine of RM100,000 or two years' jail and RM250,00 fine for a company.
Public can channel any complaint to the Ministry through its email at firstname.lastname@example.org, free toll line at 1-800-886-800 and any offices of the ministry in Sabah.
Meanwhile, Health Minister S. Subramaniam said Cadbury has voluntarily removed the two products from the shelves.
The tests were conducted by the Ministry which over the weekend announced that two Cadbury products contained pork traces.
Pork and its by-products, alcohol and animals not slaughtered according to Islamic procedures are not considered halal (permissible) and are forbidden to Muslims.
Cadbury Malaysia, a part of the British multinational, is owned by Mondelez International.
Cadbury is the world's second largest confectionery brand after Wrigley's.
"Ensuring that all our products made here in Malaysia are halal is something we take very seriously," it said in a Facebook posting.
Anger among Muslims is mounting, with one senior religious official calling for a hefty fine or a shutdown of the Malaysian plant.
Syaikh Ismail Muhammad, the grand imam of the national mosque in Kuala Lumpur, was quoted as saying tough action would serve as a lesson to other food producers to ensure their products were halal.
Subramaniam said Cadbury was working with Islamic religious authorities by sharing samples to test for non-halal ingredients.
"We want to know how the product became contaminated with pig DNA. The Health Ministry will also do additional tests," he said.