A manager at Hommaid Foods has been fined RM5,500 by Limbang Magistrate Court after pleading guilty to selling curry powder contaminated with lead. Prosecuted by the Limbang Health Division, the court heard how the curry powder was tested and discovered to contain 13.99ppm of lead, which far exceeds the 2.0ppm allowed under clause 38 (1)(e) of the Food Act (1985).

The presiding magistrate, Robert Pasang Alam, had heard how lead poisoning could lead to convulsions, mental illness or death. As yet there are no medical treatments for high levels of lead contamination.

The company has paid the fine and been ordered to remove all the stocks of the powder from the shelves. It is thought that the powder had been distributed nation-wide.

Prosecuting, Ng Tze Nyan commented that the discovery of the lead is "a criminal act of deception, which is purely aimed to reap profit at the mercy of the health of consumers and the general public."

"The company as such acted recklessly and taken no duty of care to the public," he added.