Yesterday, I blogged about the photos taken in a Malaysian factory making High-5 bread that have shocked many. I also found out from the Agri-Food and Veterinary Authority that the High-5 bread available in Singapore is safe for consumption.
Today, I decided to piece together the series of events behind the High-5 Bread controversy. This is what I found out.
1) A food manufacturing plant in Nilai, Malaysia was raided on September 6 by officers from the Health Ministry, Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs Ministry, the police, Department of Islamic Development, Negri Sembilan Immigration Department, State Religious Affairs Department, Nilai Municipal Council and Malaysian Muslim Consumers Association, after suspicions that the plant uses a non-Halal (not for Muslim consumption) oil in making their bread.
2) The authorities found out that the releasing agent used in making the bread did not have its Halal certification and its Halal certification had expired. They also found out that the floor in the plant was dirty.
3) Silver Bird Group which makes the High-5 bread, shut down the Nilai plant immediately and I understand that remedial works is undergoing there.
4) It also said that the cooking oil used in High-5 products is sourced from reputable local companies and certified halal by the Islamic Development Department.
6) Rumours began to spread on email and SMS in Malaysia that the plant was shut down because it used lard. Email containing a series of photos which the company claimed was staged and taken by unauthorised parties, also began to circulate on the internet.
7) Singaporeans later became aware of the photos via email and online forums. But the message: "the plant was shut down because it used lard" in the original email has now been removed. Instead it focuses on the plant's dirty working conditions and added that the bread-making process to be unacceptable by the Health Dept.
Of course, we now know that High-5 bread is indeed safe to eat. Even the ones in Malaysia are safe because ever since the closure of the Nilai plant, they make all their bread in their high tech plant in Shah Alam.
Previously: High-5 Bread is safe to eat