Health Ministry lifts suspension on Malee trade and business

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JOHOR BARU, Aug 27 — The suspension on Malee Mineral Water Sdn Bhd’s trade and businesses in late June, was lifted on August 16.

The company, in a statement, said the Health Ministry (MOH) through its Food Safety and Quality Division had issued a letter dated Aug 16 to the company regarding the lifting of the company’s trade and business suspension with immediate effect.

According to the letter, the decision to lift Malee’s suspension was made after Malee had carried out appropriate corrective action toward an incident, where its bottled water were found to be contaminated by Pseudomonas aeruginosa bacteria.

Prior to that, Malee’s director, Pek Woei Yi had made a pledge that his company would be working closely with the ministry to fully investigate the incident.

“After a comprehensive investigation, the source of the bacteria was traced back to a filtration system failure.This was rectified and product samples were then submitted for laboratory testing.

“The Mersing Health Office has confirmed that Malee has carried out appropriate corrective action and that the lab results have passed the required standards. This has resulted in the Ministry of Health Malaysia lifting the suspension with immediate effect,” he said in a statement here, today.

With the latest developments, the brands under Malee that were previously affected by the incident were now safe for consumption.

The brands were: Iceberg, Sukahati, Rofina, Water Funs, Dixy green and Dixy Blue.

Pek said they were relieved that they were able to trace the source of the contamination and had quickly resolved the issue.

Moving forward, he said the company strove to achieve even higher standards of food safety by upgrading its existing ISO 22000 food safety certification to the FSSC 22000 standard recognised by the Global Food Safety Initiative (GFSI).

Apart from that, Malee is currently working closely with MOH and Singapore Food Agency (SFA)  to reinstate export clearance for their products.

On July 1 of this year, MOH had ordered the Starfresh and Water Funs bottled drinking water produced by Malee to be taken off the shelves after they were found to be contaminated by Pseudomonas aeruginosa bacteria, commonly found in faeces, water, soil and sewage.

The ministry had also temporarily suspended the licence of the manufacturer’s plant effective June 28 following an inspection at the factory where they found that food safety assurance programmes were not implemented effectively.

This had led the manufacturer to voluntarily recall other brands it produced as well, including Iceberg, Sukahati, Ro Fina, Dixy Green and Dixy Blue.

Besides MOH, the Singapore Food Agency (SFA) was also reported to have ordered a recall of Starfresh bottled water from Malee after they were found to be contaminated by the same bacteria, involving the 500ml and 1500ml bottles with expiry dates of May 11, 2021, and May 13, 2021, respectively. — Bernama