The Dalian-based producer of melamine-tainted eggs found in Hong Kong apologized on Wednesday to consumers and dealers, but noted they themselves had not bought the chemical or added it to chicken's feedstuff.
Han Wei, board director of Dalian Hanwei Enterprise Group in northeastern Liaoning Province, said "We feel rather shocked and sorry and would like to shoulder all responsibilities and consequences resulting from the incident."
Hong Kong's Center for Food Safety (CFS) said on Saturday the sample of the Select Fresh Brown Eggs (Extra Large), produced by Dalian Hanwei Chicken Farming Limited and sold in 6-piece packs, was found to contain 4.7 ppm (part per million) of melamine, above the government legal limit of 2.5 ppm for melamine in food.
"Our company has never bought melamine or added it to feedstuff and products," said Han said at a press conference in Dalian.
But Han said melamine was found in some stored feedstuff supplied by a feed plant in late September. The company had recalled problematic egg products.
He said the company is preparing to sue the feed supplier.
Hong Kong's CFS also announced Wednesday that it had found another egg sample tainted with toxic chemical melamine.
This is the third egg sample found by the center to have been tainted with melamine since Oct. 25.
The tainted egg came from a processing plant in Gong'an County of central China's Hubei Province. CFS found 3.1 parts per million (ppm) of the chemical in the egg sample.
"The small-sized egg sample was taken from an importer in Western Wholesale Food Market. The CFS has sent a warning letter to the importer and asked it to stop selling the product with unsatisfactory results," a CFS spokesman said.
"We have also informed the Mainland authorities for follow up, and requested them to stop the concerned processing plant from exporting eggs and egg products to Hong Kong," he said.
Melamine is a chemical used to make plastics. It was found in dairy products including baby formula made in China, where about 54,000 babies became ill and at least three died after drinking the tainted milk products.
(Xinhua News Agency October 30, 2008)