Malaysia on alert over E. coli in ‘Wang Wang’ rice crackers

The Malaysian health ministry is stepping up scrutiny on the imported ‘Wang Wang’ rice crackers and collecting its samples for laboratory tests, following a report that coliform and Escherichia coli bacteria were detected in the product in China.

The minister, Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai, said Malaysia imported 334,460 boxes of the product this year but was unsure how many were still in the market or whether they were contaminated.

As a precaution, he said the product was placed at Level 5 of the Food Safety Information of Malaysia (Fosim), where the product would be analysed before release into the market.

Bees make honey

A Japanese fan club for wasps has, according to Reuters, begun adding digger wasps to rice crackers, saying the result adds a waspish scent to the traditional fare.

The jibachi senbei, or digger wasp rice crackers, are made in Omachi town 200 km (120 miles) northwest of Tokyo and have five or six black digger wasps each, clearly visible to the naked eye.

A bag of 20 crackers costs 370 yen (1.60 pounds), but output may be limited as the wasps are caught in the wild for optimum flavour.