Monday, Nov 05, 2012
GEORGE TOWN, MALAYSIA – The Health Ministry has ordered all Ayamas products in the same batch that was found to contain a banned antibiotic be taken off the market.
Minister Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai said yesterday his ministry had ordered the withdrawal of the products pending tests.
“I am now waiting for the results of the tests done on the samples. We view this seriously and that is why we decide to withdraw the batch from the market.”
However, he said Ayamas products that were not from the same batch could continue to be sold. Liow was commenting on the Sarawak Veterinary Authority’s immediate ban on all Ayamas products following a random test where traces of Chloramphenicol were found.
Chloramphenicol is used to treat animals but is not safe for human consumption and, therefore, cannot be used in food processing.
On Saturday, Sarawak Assistant Agriculture Minister Mong Dagang said he believed the problem could lie in the source of the chickens and not during the processing part.
Chloramphenicol is banned in most Western countries although it is available in Southeast Asia. The drug is known to cause blood disorders such as aplastic and hypoplastic anaemia.
Any interactions between Chloramphenicol and diabetic medicines, or even vitamin B12 supplements, may cause allergic reactions, including stomach upset, diarrhoea, headache, nausea and vomiting.
Earlier, Liow said the ministry had approved two mega projects for Penang Hospital next year. A new women and children’s block will be constructed to ease congestion.
“The present hospital ward is 130 years old and in a dilapidated condition. Sometimes, the ceiling will fall off and this is not good,” he said, adding that the old structure would be demolished in stages to make way for the new RM125 million (S$50 million) building.
Liow said the wards in the new building would have a 300-bed capacity.
Speaking after a dialogue with the state Visitors’ Board members, Liow said a new multi-storey hospital would also be built in mainland Seberang Jaya.