PALMA THE Balearic Ministry for Health and Consumer Affairs inspected 37 Chinese food retail outlets yesterday and ordered the control of all storage, distribution and importation points of such products in order to prevent the sale of milk based items from China.

The move comes in the wake of a milk contamination scare in China which has so far cost the life of at least three infants and resulted in the illness of many more. The government confirmed that after yesterday's search of 28 establishments on Majorca, 5 on Ibiza and 4 on Minorca, only one store in Palma had eight packets of a food product with milk compound of Chinese origin removed from its shelves. A spokesman said that many Chinese food retailers had already withdrawn milk-based products on the recommendation of suppliers. European Food Standards Agency, EFSA, issued a warning yesterday on the risk that the presence of melamine detected in milk for infants and other milk derivative products from China could pose for public health.