Saudi Arabia tests Cadbury chocolates for pork traces

RIYADH, June 1 Sun Jun 1, 2014 1:28am EDT

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RIYADH, June 1 (Reuters) - Saudi Arabian authorities said on Saturday they are testing chocolate bars made by British confectioner Cadbury for traces of pork DNA after two of its products in Malaysia were found to violate Islamic standards.

The Saudi Food and Drug Authority said in a statement published on its website that it had taken samples of Cadbury chocolates from the local market to test for contamination.

Pork is strictly prohibited in Islam. Saudi Arabia, the religion's birthplace, adheres to one of the world's most stringent forms of the faith.

The statement said Cadbury products on sale in Saudi Arabia, an ultra conservative Muslim country, were not manufactured in Malaysia, but added that "strong measures" would be taken if the chocolates being tested revealed any traces of pork.

The scandal over the ingredient discovered in Malaysian Cadbury's chocolates has prompted outrage among some Muslim groups in the country, who have called for a boycott on all products made by the company, and its parent, Mondelez International Inc.

On Friday Indonesia, the most populous Muslim nation, also said it was testing Cadbury products to check that they complied with Islamic standards.

Malaysian authorities have warned that it remains unclear if the contamination of two varieties of Dairy Milk chocolate bar with pork was Cadbury's fault or was a result of "external factors".

Cadbury Malaysia said in a statement it had withdrawn the two products as a precaution and that it had no reason to believe there was pork-related content in its other foods.

"We stand by our halal certification and we have the highest levels of product labelling standards," it said. (Reporting By Angus McDowall; Editing by Matt Driskill)

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