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S'pore seaweed 'satisfactory': AVA

By Tan Hui Leng, TODAY
23 November 2007

SINGAPORE: Roasted seaweed exported from Singapore that failed Malaysian food safety standards has been tested and found to be satisfactory, the Agri-Food and Veterinary Authority (AVA) said on Thursday.

The Star, a Malaysian newspaper, had reported on Wednesday that "roasted seaweed from Singapore was found to contain metal contaminants on four occasions from July to September". The contaminant, cadmium, was at a level that contravened Malaysia's food regulations.

But the AVA, in an email to Today, said: "We have followed up with checks on the cadmium level in the roasted seaweed that was processed in our local food factory and the cadmium level was found to be satisfactory."

Singapore's food safety levels are set in line with international standards, it said, adding that the AVA had only received one notification from Malaysia on 13 Aug.

Locally-manufactured foodstuff is processed in factories licensed by the AVA and they have quality control programmes to ensure safe food production, it said. "Each factory is required to appoint a food hygiene officer to oversee the manufacturing process and the hygiene of the factory."

The AVA conducts routine inspections to ensure that the factories continue to maintain standards. Laboratory analyses are also conducted on food samples to ensure that the quality meets regulatory standards. - TODAY/ym