TOKYO (AP) -- A Japanese trading company has begun recalling a popular dessert imported from China after finding chemical contamination in the treats amid a widening food scare centered on China's tainted milk scandal, officials said Wednesday.
Kanematsu Corp. said tests have found that the treats, made by a frozen food manufacturer in China's southern Guangdong province, contained a tiny amount of melamine, the industrial chemical that has sickened tens of thousands of Chinese children.
Kanematsu said it has sold nearly 290 three-pack sets of the "Macau Egg Tarts," each containing 18 custard-filled tarts, through mail order via JTB Trading Corp., a unit of Japan's largest travel agent.
The cause of contamination is under investigation, but the level of contamination was negligible and posed no risk to health "if (an average adult) keeps eating 428 of them every day for life," the company said in a statement. So far, the company has received no reports of health problems.
Last week, a major Japanese manufacturer Marudai Food Co. pulled its cream buns, meat buns and creamed corn crepes from shelves and confirmed Friday that some of them were contaminated with melamine, saying the amount posed no health risk.
Tokyo-based snack maker Lotte Group last Friday had its popular chocolate-filled Koala cookies made in China recalled in Hong Kong and Macau because of melamine contamination. Lotte said its products sold in Japan did not contain Chinese dairy ingredients.
Japan also has banned milk and milk products from China in mid-September, and has singled out products from 12 other countries and territories in Asia to a watch list for special inspections.
The melamine scandal has been linked to the deaths of four children and kidney ailments among 54,000 others. More than 13,000 children have been hospitalized and 27 people arrested in the scandal.