Further tests on Cadbury chocolate bars found no traces of pig DNA, a Malaysian minister said Monday, after earlier positive results of the halal-certified confectionaries sparked a scare in several Muslim countries.
Cadbury pulled its Dairy Milk hazelnut and Dairy Milk roast almond products from shelves in Muslim-majority Malaysia last week after a health ministry routine test found the chocolate contained traces of pork.
Pork is strictly banned in Islam, and the test results caused Malaysian Muslim consumer groups to call for a boycott of Cadbury, and Muslim countries Indonesia and Saudi Arabia to start to test the products too.
But Malaysia's Islamic affairs minister, Jamil Khir Baharom, said in a statement Monday that 11 chocolate bar samples from Cadbury's factory tested negative for pork DNA in tests by Islamic authorities.
However, the halal certification for the two types of bars will remain suspended until further tests and investigations can be done, he added.
"Full-scale tests will be conducted on Cadbury's entire production chain including raw materials, process flow, storage and equipment," Jamil Khir said.
Malaysia's fatwa council last week told Muslims they could continue to eat Cadbury as the contamination likely occurred after the chocolates left the factory and so was "beyond the scope of control".
In a statement Friday, Cadbury Malaysia said it had "no reason to believe that there is any porcine or pork-related ingredient" in its chocolates and was cooperating with authorities testing them.
Britain's Cadbury, owned by Mondelez International, is the world's second largest confectionery brand after Wrigley's.