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Yoghurt health warning.

HEALTH Minister Stavros Malas said yesterday that the public's health is not in danger from the levels of a preservative, Natamycin, recently found in samples of yoghurt, even though batches of affected yoghurt have been withdrawn.

"The concentrations that were found do not pose a serious threat to public health," said Malas.

Natamycin is an antifungal agent used to protect dairy and other food products from mould and yeast growth. The substance can be used in several food products, but its use in yoghurt is prohibited.

Samples of yoghurt products were sent to an accredited laboratory in Slovakia and the prohibited additive was found in the following products: Lefkonitziatis strained yoghurt, expiry date 9/9/2011, weight 1kg; Kouroushis strained yoghurt, expiry date 9/9/2011, weight 300g; Zita 'Super Strained Yoghurt'; expiry date 14/9/2011, batch number P06 1, weight 450g; and Mparpa Thomas strained yoghurt with milk and cream, expiry date 14/9/2011, batch number P03, weight 300g.

The Food Security Council issued an announcement telling consumers who may have bought these yoghurt products to avoid consuming them.

The quantity of Natamycin found in Zita Dairies Industry products was significantly lower than that detected in previous tests (2,507mg/kg of Natamycin E235 was detected on August 5). However, although measures were taken by the company to solve this problem, traces of the substance are still present in Zita yoghurts.

According to Malas, the Health Services will continue checks on yoghurt on the market.

Copyright Cyprus Mail 2011

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Publication:Cyprus Mail (Cyprus)
Date:Sep 4, 2011
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