Page last updated at 11:36 GMT, Wednesday, 3 December 2008

HK says more Chinese eggs tainted

The crisis has raised fears doubts over China's food safety regime

Hong Kong authorities have found the toxic chemical melamine in another Chinese brand of eggs, dampening hopes of any end to the tainting scandal.

The eggs came from a farm in Dehui City in China's northeastern Jilin province.

Hong Kong's Centre for Food Safety is checking bakeries which may have bought the tainted eggs.

More than a quarter of a million children in China have been made ill by food tainted with melamine, and six babies have died.

Hong Kong scientists first found melamine in mainland eggs in October, and said they believed it came from contaminated chicken feed.

Hong Kong's safety watchdogs have continued to test hundreds of products every week.

The Centre for Food Safety said it had tested 307 egg samples and found four of them to have almost twice the legal limit of melamine.

Scientists had set an allowable limit of 2.5 parts per million of melamine in food, but the latest tests showed the eggs had 4.7 ppm.

The eggs had been distributed through a local importer in a wholesale food market.

The government has asked the importer to stop selling them and is checking where the eggs may have been sold.

The products had been distributed to some bakeries but not to any other retail outlets, a spokesman for the centre said.

The tainting scandal, which began with the discoveries of melamine in dairy products, has spread to other foodstuffs.

The Chinese government has promised to overhaul the dairy industry and raise safety standards across food production.

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