Sep. 21, 2008 at 12:14 PM ET
Hong Kong's two main supermarket chains said Sunday they have removed milk powder made by Swiss food giant Nestle from their shelves after a newspaper reported that samples contained the industrial chemical melamine.
Spokeswomen from PARKnSHOP and Wellcome said the chains acted after Hong Kong's Apple Daily reported Sunday that tests it commissioned showed that Nestle milk powder made in China's northeastern Heilongjiang province contained the chemical.
Nestle's Hong Kong office did not immediately respond to a message seeking comment. Calls to its Beijing office and Beijing hot line went unanswered.
The company said in a statement last Wednesday that none of its infant formula and milk powder products contained melamine.
"Nestle can hence assure its ... customers that its products are safe for consumption," the statement said.
Authorities in China have recalled milk and dairy products from 22 Chinese companies after samples were found to contain melamine, which can cause kidney failure.
Hong Kong girl diagnosed with kidney stone
A 3-year-old Hong Kong girl was diagnosed with a kidney stone after drinking milk laced with the chemical, the local government said.
The case marked the first outside mainland China in a food safety scandal that has killed four children and sickened more than 6,200 others.
The girl was diagnosed with a kidney stone but was in good condition and has been discharged from the hospital, the government said in a statement late Saturday. Preliminary blood tests on the girl were normal, the statement said.
The girl's parents had taken her for a health checkup because she had been drinking two or three cups of low-fat milk made by Chinese dairy Yili every day for the past 15 months.
Yili Industrial Group Co. is one of the 22 companies whose milk and dairy products were recalled after batches were found to contain the industrial chemical melamine.
Used in making plastics, melamine is high in nitrogen, which registers as protein in tests of milk. Although health experts believe ingesting minute amounts poses no danger, melamine can cause kidney stones, which can lead to kidney failure. Infants are particularly vulnerable.