Poison pies sold in Sweden

A batch of Chinese-made chocolate pies which likely contained the poisonous chemical melamin was delivered to a wholesaler in Stockholm.

Tests performed in the Netherlands confirmed that pies from the same shipment showed traces of the chemical, which has been traced to dairy products in China that caused the deaths of four infants and affected nearly 50,000 others in what has become a major public health scandal for the country.

Officials in Stockholm believe that the pies which made it to Sweden have likely already been eaten.

“We’ve checked with the company that received them and they say the whole batch has been sold,” said Gunnar Söderholm, head of Stockholm municipality’s environmental division, to the TT news agency.

The pies in question are produced by the Master Kong Dingyi International Food Corporation in Tianjin, southeast of Beijing in China, and are sold under the name Cream Chocolate Pie.

The batch with melamin is marked with an expiration date of January 8th, 2009.

On October 7th, Dutch officials announced that their tests showed the pies contained 4.5 milligrammes of melamin per kilogramme. The suggested limit for the chemical is 2.5 milligrammes per kilo.

Pies from the same shipment landed in Sweden back on June 30th, which leads officials to believe that most of them have already been consumed.

Sweden’s National Food Administration (Livsmedelsverket) was notified late last week of the potentially poison pies by an EU-wide monitoring system.

Upon contacting the grocery wholesaler, officials learned that only one box of the pies had been sold in Sweden.

Judging the public health risk to be minimal, the National Food Administration decided against issuing a major announcement about the pies.

“The risk of someone getting sick from this product is quite small,” said National Food Administration inspector Martin Lindblom.