Lactose factor in milk saga

Sunday December 18, 2011

By Tan Ee Loo

SCHOOLCHILDREN who have been ill after consuming milk given out under the Education Ministry’s 1Malaysia School Milk programme may be lactose intolerant.

Dutch Lady Milk Industries Berhad head of corporate communications Jad Mahidin said that based on previous cases, the symptoms might have been not because of food poisoning but due to the fact that they may be lactose intolerant.

“From our interviews conducted with students, parents and teachers, we are inclined to think that many of the affected pupils did not have breakfast before coming to school and they consumed the milk on an empty stomach,” she told StarEducate.

(People with lactose intolerance are unable to digest the lactose because of the lack of the lactase enzyme in the body. It means that the body cannot digest foods with lactose in them. Lactose is the sugar found in milk and foods made with milk. After consuming foods with lactose one may feel sick and the symptoms may include flatulence, bloating, abdominal pain, and diarrhoea.)

One up: Muhyiddin flanked by Wester and Johannis (right).

Jad said that most of them were from rural areas and had never or rarely consumed milk in their daily diet.

In some cases, she said, the children had oily and spicy food prior to consuming the milk which could have also resulted in a tummy upset.

The cases reported in schools could have also happened as a result of what she described as “herd mentality”.

“When one child is not feeling well, other children also feel unwell and complain of similar symptoms as well,” she said.

When asked about previous cases of children feeling unwell after consuming the milk given out under the 1Malaysia School Milk programme, Tetra Pak (Malaysia) Sdn Bhd managing director Anders Wester said there was no official report to suggest that the quality of the milk was substandard.

“To our knowledge, there is no fact or scientific data that says there’s something wrong with the milk. There could be various contributing factors. One of them is because some children could be lactose intolerant,” he said at a press conference after a signing ceremony to mark the company’s collaboration with Hybrid Allied Sdn Bhd on Tuesday.

Deputy Prime Minister and Education Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin was also present at the event.

“If you are not used to drinking milk, and you suddenly make a habit of consuming it, you may react to it differently. Some people may feel nauseous.”

“Based on our experience of running the feeding programme around the world, where we do five billion packs of school milk every year, all these packets have been consumed without any problems.

“I can assure you that our technology and processes are in order and we provide safe products,” he said.

For children who are lactose intolerant, Wester said the key factor was to start by taking only a small amount of milk.

“You don’t consume the full packet the first time. You take just a little bit, then you gradually increase the intake because if you have never consumed it before, your body will need time to adapt to lactose,” he said.

Hybrid Allied Sdn Bhd managing director Datuk Johannis Al-Arif Ibrahim said students were required to inform teachers if they had never or rarely consumed milk in their diet.

“At ground level, we will identify those who have and haven’t taken milk before.

“Students who have not consumed milk before will be asked to drink half the packet or just a few sips,” he said.

The school milk programme was suspended in August 2007, following cases of children complaining of abdominal aches.

It was then revived and re-branded as the 1Malaysia Milk Programme in Sept 2010 and launched in Sabah.

However, it did not take off until early this year.

In Sept 2011, Muhyiddin had said the Government would continue with its milk distribution programme to schools.

He was quoted as saying cases of schoolchildren falling sick after consuming the milk could have been due to poor storage or allergic reactions.

Bekalkan susu berkualiti ke sekolah

14 Disember 2011, Rabu




MUHYIDDIN Yassin melihat susu 1Malaysia sambil menerima penerangan daripada Andres Wester (kiri) dan Johannis Al-Arif Ibrahim selepas majlis menandatangani MoU diantara Hybrid Allied Sdn. Bhd. dan Tetra Pak (M) Sdn. Bhd. di Hotel Sheraton Imperial, Kuala Lumpur, semalam.

KUALA LUMPUR 13 Dis. – Hybrid Allied Sdn. Bhd. dan Tetra Pak (M) Sdn. Bhd. hari ini menandatangani kerjasama bagi membekalkan susu berkualiti untuk Program Susu Sekolah 1Malaysia di wilayah utara tanah air.

Tetra Pak merupakan sebuah syarikat antarabangsa yang menjadi pemain utama dalam bidang pembungkusan inovatif bagi meningkatkan kualiti sesuatu produk khususnya yang berkait dengan industri tenusu.

Melalui perjanjian berkenaan Tetra Pak akan menyediakan sokongan teknikal kepada Hybrid Allied bagi memastikan semua susu yang dibekalkan syarikat itu mematuhi standard yang ditetapkan Kementerian Pelajaran.

Perjanjian tersebut disaksikan Timbalan Perdana Menteri, Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin yang juga Menteri Pelajaran.

Menurut Pengarah Urusan Hybrid Allied, Datuk Johannis Al-Arif Ibrahim, dengan kepakaran teknikal dan pengalaman Tetra Pak, pihaknya yakin murid sekolah rendah akan dapat menikmati susu berkualiti sekaligus membantu perkembangan mental dan fizikal mereka.

“Melalui kerjasama ini, kami akan menggunakan kaedah pembungkusan dan pemproses susu termoden berdasarkan kepakaran Tetra Pak dan ini memberi kelebihan untuk kami membekal susu berkualiti,” katanya di sini hari ini.

Dalam pada itu, Pengarah Urusan Tetra Pak, Andres Wester berkata, selain menawarkan kepakaran dan pengamalan kepada Hybrid Allied, pihaknya juga turut menyediakan pakej latihan bagi memastikan standard kualiti dikekalkan.

Jelasnya, dengan pengalaman menyediakan perkhidmatan yang sama kepada lebih 50 buah negara lain, pihaknya yakin Hybrid Allied akan menjadi peneraju utama dalam dalam membekal produk tenusu di negara ini.

24 fall ill after drinking milk

Thursday, November 03, 2011

By Nadia Badarudin

Medical officers taking statements from  SK Seri Bakti pupils at  Kuala Nerang Hospital yesterday.  — NST picture by Shahrizal Md Noor

Medical officers taking statements from SK Seri Bakti pupils at Kuala Nerang Hospital yesterday. — NST picture by Shahrizal Md Noor

ALOR STAR:Twenty-four pupils of SK Seri Bakti in Kuala Nerang, near here, were rushed to Kuala Nerang Hospital after they were down with suspected food poisoning yesterday.

The pupils, 16 girls and 8 boys, aged between eight and 11, were believed to have drank the milk at 7.40am before suffering bouts of diarrhoea and vomiting at 9.15am.

The students were given the milk under the 1Malaysia school milk programme.
The pupils were sent to the hospital in several cars by their teachers. Four girls and four boys were warded. They were reported to be in a stable condition.

State Education Department director Mansor Lat said the 24 pupils were part of 136 needy students given the milk under the nationwide free milk scheme.

“The fresh batch of milk supply was given to the 136 students.
“Unfortunately, 24 fell ill. I don’t think the milk was contaminated, but we are investigating the matter.”

Meanwhile, state Health Department director Dr Ismail Abu Taat said his officers were responsible to ensure that the milk under the programme was distributed in accordance with food safety standards.

“We will take y action if the students fell sick because of contaminated milk.”
The programme involves milk distribution to 1.4 million poor children in more than 7,000 selected primary schools throughout the country.

Milk programme back in schools

Monday, October 24, 2011

 (From left)  Ahmad Azman Sharif of Konsuma, Hanna Moo of SID, and Ng Boon Leong and Rohana Safinah from Dutch Lady. — Picture by  Rohanis Abdul Shukri

(From left) Ahmad Azman Sharif of Konsuma, Hanna Moo of SID, and Ng Boon Leong and Rohana Safinah from Dutch Lady. — Picture by Rohanis Abdul Shukri

PETALING JAYA:Dutch Lady Milk Industries Bhd (Dutch Lady) has assured that the milk distributed under the 1Malaysia School Milk Programme is safe for students.

“The milk to be distributed to schools in rural and urban areas will be monitored,” said Dutch Lady corporate affairs manager Rohana Safinah Abdul Hamid.

She said that the distribution covers 1.4 million children from around 7,703 selected primary schools in the country, including in Sabah and Sarawak.
When asked why the national milk programme was temporarily suspended in 2007 she said it was because they wanted to enhance the milk programme and not due the food poisoning cases among the students, which was speculated.

“Now that the ministry has brought the programme back, the teachers in schools have been given talks on how to prevent the milk from being contaminated,” she said after a recent educational tour of the UHT Milk Processing Plant at the Dutch Lady Building in Jalan Semangat here for members of the media.

“Ideally, we want to help feed all the children as milk provides nutrients for the children. Besides, our supplier Tetra Pak (Malaysia) Sdn Bhd assured us that each milk packet has six layers of cover to ensure its safety.”
Meanwhile, Tetra Pak’s quality management expert Rina Yeo said the milk will be tested first to see whether or not it meets the ministry’s safety control system before it is distributed.

She added that there are several ways to prevent the milk from being contaminated, which includes proper storage. – By C. Premananthini

Dutch Lady assures 1Malaysia School Milk safe to drink

Posted on October 14, 2011, Friday

KUALA LUMPUR: Milk distributed by Dutch Lady Milk Industries Berhad (Dutch Lady) under the 1Malaysia School Milk Project is safe for students to drink, assured its corporate affairs manager Rohana Safinah Abdul Hamid.

She said distribution of the milk throughout the country especially to rural areas was strictly monitored.

A total of 1.5 million students in 8,000 schools are covered under the project which started last April.

“The teachers have also been advised by our officers on how to prevent the milk from being contaminated,” she told reporters during a familiarisation tour of the company by the media here yesterday.

On the discontinuation of the school milk distribution in 2007, she said it was to enhance the project and not because of milk poisoning as speculated.

Meanwhile, Tetra Pak (Malaysia) Sdn Bhd quality management expert Rina Yeo said each milk package distributed under the project had six layers of cover. — Bernama

RM121.6j program Susu 1Malaysia

15 September 2011, Khamis

PENAMPANG 14 Sept. – Kerajaan pada tahun ini telah memperuntukkan sebanyak RM121.6 juta bagi program Susu 1Malaysia melibatkan seramai 1.4 juta pelajar tahun satu hingga enam di sekolah-sekolah luar bandar di seluruh negara.

Timbalan Menteri Pelajaran, Dr. Mohd. Puad Zarkashi berkata, kuantiti susu yang dibekalkan bagi tempoh April hingga Disember ini ialah sebanyak 85.4 juta kotak berdasarkan kepada jumlah pesanan sebenar atau susu yang selamat diminum.

Jelas beliau, sekiranya terdapat mana-mana susu yang rosak, pihak kementerian tidak akan membayarnya dan ia telah dipersetujui oleh empat pembekal utama yang dilantik kerajaan dalam program itu.

“Selain pelajar di sekolah luar bandar, pelajar-pelajar di bandar yang menerima Rancangan Makanan Tambahan (RMT) turut diberikan Susu 1Malaysia ini.

“Bagi Sabah, daripada jumlah 1.4 juta pelajar itu seramai 76,871 orang pelajar menerima bekalan susu sebanyak 4.6 juta kotak membabitkan kos sebanyak RM6.2 juta,” katanya.

Beliau berkata demikian kepada pemberita selepas melancarkan Program Susu 1Malaysia peringkat daerah Penampang di Sekolah Kebangsaan Tampasak Tegudon di sini hari ini.

Hadir sama Timbalan Pengarah Jabatan Pelajaran Negeri Sabah, Maimunah Suhaibul.

Mohd. Puad yang berkesempatan melawat asrama desa sekolah itu juga berjanji untuk menyediakan peruntukan segera kementerian sebanyak RM30,000 bagi membaik pulih beberapa struktur asrama itu seperti dinding dan bangunannya yang rosak.

Mengulas lanjut, beliau berkata, program itu sebenarnya telah dimulakan pada April lalu tetapi terpaksa ditangguhkan kerana berlaku beberapa kes keracunan dan pihak kementerian telah memutuskan untuk meneruskannya semula pada 1 Ogos lalu setelah beberapa Prosedur Operasi Standard (SOP) diperketatkan.

Beliau berkata, pihaknya bekerjasama dengan Kementerian Kesihatan untuk memantau proses pengagihan susu itu bermula daripada peringkat kilang hingga ia sampai ke tangan murid, bagi mengelak berlakunya sebarang kejadian yang tidak diingini.

“Kualitinya adalah terjamin, tetapi sekiranya terdapat pihak pembekal yang gagal mematuhi SOP, kita tidak akan teragak-agak untuk mengambil tindakan tegas,” katanya.

70 murid SK Othman Shawal keracunan selepas minum susu sekolah

08 September 2011, Khamis

MELAKA 7 Sept. – Seramai 70 murid Sekolah Rendah Kebangsaan Othman Shawal, Kuala Sungai Baru, Alor Gajah di sini mengalami keracunan makanan selepas meminum susu kotak yang dibekalkan pihak sekolah pagi ini.

Pengarah Kesihatan negeri, Datuk Dr. Azmi Hashim berkata, sebanyak 23 pelajar perempuan dan 47 pelajar lelaki mengalami sakit perut dan muntah pada pukul 10.30 pagi.

“Semua pelajar yang terlibat telah dirawat sebagai pesakit luar dan semua mereka telah dibenarkan pulang.

“Terdapat tanda-tanda awal keracunan pada susu itu apabila ia didapati berasa masam dan kita telah menghentikan pemberian susu itu serta-merta,” katanya ketika dihubungi di sini, hari ini.

Menurutnya, sebanyak 681 lagi kotak susu telah disita dan pemantauan lanjut sedang dilakukan.

Pada Jun lalu, keracunan sama berlaku melibatkan 97 murid di tiga sekolah rendah di Melaka yang mengalami sakit perut, muntah dan cirit-birit selepas tiga jam meminum susu kotak berperisa coklat berjenama Dutch Lady yang diproses pada suhu tinggi (UHT) itu.

Tiga sekolah yang terlibat ialah Sekolah Kebangsaan (SK) Selandar, Sekolah Rendah Agama (SRA) Jabatan Agama Islam Melaka As-Syakirin, Selandar dan SK Lendu di Alor Gajah.

Elak berulang isu susu tercemar

Khamis , 23 Jun 2011

PROGRAM Susu 1Malaysia yang diilhamkan Perdana Menteri, Datuk Seri Najib Razak untuk manfaat murid terutama daripada keluarga miskin yang sukar membeli minuman berkhasiat adalah satu usaha murni dan keprihatinan pemimpin kepada rakyat.

Namun, usaha itu boleh menjadi fitnah atau isu yang diperbesarkan pihak tertentu apabila berlaku perkara tidak diingini seperti pelajar sakit perut dan muntah selepas meminum Susu 1Malaysia yang dihantar ke sekolah.

Apa yang berlaku kepada anak saya dan kira-kira 33 murid lain di sekolah di Hulu Langat kelmarin menimbulkan tanda tanya kesungguhan pihak yang dipertanggungjawabkan melaksanakan program Susu 1Malaysia ini.

Timbul persoalan apakah susu yang dihantar itu sudah tercemar dan apa tindakan pihak berkenaan untuk mengatasi masalah ini supaya tidak merebak ke sekolah lain atau berlaku kepada pelajar yang akan menerima bekalan mereka nanti.

Adalah difahamkan perkara sama pernah berlaku di sebuah sekolah di Cheras di mana pelajar mengalami sakit perut dan muntah selepas meminum Susu 1Malaysia yang diberi guru mereka.

Mungkin Kementerian Pelajaran perlu memikirkan kaedah untuk memastikan susu yang dihantar ke sekolah tidak tercemar atau rosak sehingga menjejaskan kualiti, seterusnya mengancam keselamatan pelajar yang meminumnya.

Pembekal juga perlu memikul tanggungjawab memastikan kaedah penyimpanan dan penghantaran diberi perhatian bagi mengelak pencemaran atau menyebabkan susu mudah rosak.
Nasib baik murid hanya muntah dan sakit perut, bagaimana jika tahap pencemaran susu itu hingga membahayakan nyawa pelajar, bagaimana agaknya pihak bertanggungjawab akan menangani perkara itu?

Kesan serta merta selepas pelajar minum susu berkenaan membolehkan guru menghentikan pemberian kepada pelajar lain. Jika tidak mungkin lebih ramai yang sakit dan pastinya menyusahkan guru untuk menghantar pelajar ke klinik atau hospital.

Itu belum mengambil kira pelajar yang mungkin tidak mendapat kesan serta merta tetapi diserang sakit perut atau muntah-muntah setiba di rumah. Pasti ibu bapa cemas dan tidak tahu punca kenapa anak mereka sakit.

Kementerian perlu melihat perkara ini secara terperinci. Jangan hanya bertindak apabila ada laporan di akhbar. Pihak dipertanggungjawabkan perlu memantau program Susu 1Malaysia secara berkala dan jika ada kes pelajar diserang sakit perut, mesti dilakukan siasatan terperinci.

Hulu Langat, Selangor

Kaji semula bekalan susu 1Malaysia

19 Jun 2011, Ahad

KUALA LUMPUR 18 Jun – Kementerian Pelajaran akan mengkaji semula sama ada menghentikan bekalan Program Susu 1Malaysia atau menukar pembekal sekiranya hasil laporan terhadap kes keracunan di tiga buah sekolah di Melaka semalam mendapati program itu boleh mendatangkan kemudaratan kepada pelajar.

Timbalan Menteri Pelajaran, Datuk Dr. Wee Ka Siong bagaimanapun berkata, keputusan akan dibuat berdasarkan laporan terperinci daripada Kementerian Kesihatan tentang punca keracunan melibatkan bekalan susu di bawah Program Susu Sekolah (PSS) itu.

“Setakat ini, Kementerian Pelajaran telah membekukan serta-merta penghantaran susu 1Malaysia ke sekolah dan pembekuan ini berterusan sehingga keputusan siasatan terperinci diperoleh,” katanya ketika dihubungi di sini, semalam.

Beliau mengulas kejadian keracunan melibatkan 97 murid di tiga sekolah rendah di Melaka yang mengalami sakit perut, muntah dan cirit-birit selepas tiga jam meminum susu kotak berperisa coklat berjenama Dutch Lady yang diproses pada suhu tinggi (UHT) itu.

Tiga sekolah yang terlibat ialah Sekolah Kebangsaan (SK) Selandar, Sekolah Rendah Agama (SRA) Jabatan Agama Islam Melaka As-Syakirin, Selandar dan SK Lendu di Alor Gajah.

Sementara itu, Presiden Persatuan Ibu Bapa dan Guru Nasional (PIBGN), Prof. Madya Dr. Mohamad Ali Hasan mencadangkan supaya program bekalan susu 1Malaysia digantikan dengan telur atau susu soya bagi mengelakkan kejadian sama berulang.

“Kita mahu pastikan murid-murid sekolah betul-betul mendapat makanan dan nutrisi terbaik dengan menggantikan susu kepada susu soya ataupun telur, saya rasa ramai ibu bapa akan lebih yakin dengan makanan yang diberikan kepada anak-anak mereka,” katanya.


42 pupils fall sick after drinking free milk

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

By T.N. Alagesh
 Normafuzah Mazlan with her mother, Norazizah Ismail, after being treated for food poisoning. — NST picture Roselan Ab Malek

Normafuzah Mazlan with her mother, Norazizah Ismail, after being treated for food poisoning. — NST picture Roselan Ab Malek

BANDAR JENGKA:Forty-two pupils of Sekolah Kebangsaan Jengka Lapan here went down with food poisoning after drinking milk given by their class teacher yesterday.

They had nausea and diarrhoea and some were vomiting.

They were taken to the Bandar Jengka hospital and Polyclinic Jengka 8 for treatment before being allowed to go home.
Year Six pupil Siti Solehah Halim, 12, said she suffered from severe stomach ache and headache and was put on drips.

“I became weak and nearly fainted, but thank god my condition improved at the hospital.

“This was the second time that I had consumed the milk after we first had it last Friday,” she said.
Normafuzah Mazlan, 11, said she and her friends drank the milk which was given by a class teacher before attending lessons.

“An hour later, some of us began to feel uneasy and had stomach ache. Then some of my friends ran out of the classroom to vomit. I alerted the class teacher and she rushed us to the clinic for treatment,” she said.

Her mother, Norazizah Ismail, 46, said a teacher from the school contacted her to inform that Normafuzah had been taken to the polyclinic and she immediately rushed there to check on her daughter’s condition.
The school’s parent-teacher association deputy chairman, Zairol Nizam Osman, said the Education Ministry should look at the possibility of suspending the free milk programme if it continued to bring harm to the students.