Is that chocolate halal? Saudi government tests Cadbury for pig DNA
The Saudi Food and Drug Authority (SFDA) has collected samples of Cadbury chocolates from the local market to conduct laboratory tests to determine if they contain traces of pig DNA, the Saudi Press Agency reported on Saturday.
Cadbury, one of the oldest and most famous chocolate makers in the world, recalled two products from the Malaysia market after traces of pig DNA were found during a routine check for non-halal substances.
Cadbury Malaysia, a part of the British multinational owned by Mondelez International, said it was withdrawing the Cadbury Dairy Milk hazelnut and Cadbury Dairy Milk roast almond products.
Deputy Executive Chairman for food sector in SFDA Dr. Salah Al-Maiman said Cadbury products manufactured in Malaysia are not available in the Saudi market. The products available in the local market have been imported from Egypt and UK, he said.
Al-Maiman, however, reiterated that SFDA will take all necessary measures if lab analyses prove that the samples contain any traces of pig DNA. He called on consumers to report to SFDA if they find Cadbury cow milk chocolate with hazelnuts bearing the operation number 200813M01HI2 and registered with the expiry date 13/11/2014 as well as Cadbury cow milk chocolate with roasted almonds bearing the operation number 221013N01RI1 and registered with the expiry date 15/1/2015.
Indonesian authorities said on Friday they were testing products made by Cadbury to check they complied with Islamic standards.
The scandal over the ingredient banned under Islamic dietary laws has sparked outrage among some Muslim groups in Malaysia, who have called for a boycott on all products made by Cadbury and its parent Mondelez International Inc.
“After such an incident, it is prudent to do a test on the other variants to see if they also have traces of the pig DNA. We may have the result in a few days,” Roy Alexander Sparingga, head of Indonesia’s Food and Drug Monitoring Agency, told Reuters.
Sparingga said the tests would be done on the 10 varieties of Cadbury products that are certified in Indonesia as halal – or permissible according to Islamic law. Those products did not include the two types of Dairy Milk chocolate that Cadbury Malaysia recalled this week after finding pork traces.
Malaysian Islamic authorities tried to cool anger against Cadbury by saying it remained unclear if the contamination was the company’s fault.
“People need to understand that we can’t immediately take action against Cadbury when there’s no solid evidence yet or if contamination occurred in the factory itself or if it was external factors,” said Othman Mustapha, the director general of Malaysia’s Department of Islamic Development, or JAKIM.
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