Key Points:

The Food Safety Authority is introducing new rules concerning imported food in the wake of China's infant formula scandal.

Since early last week, all identified consignments of products containing dairy ingredients originating in China have been stopped by Customs, pending approval from NZFSA.

Importers will now be required to provide the authority with confirmation that the products containing Chinese dairy ingredients currently on the market and those they intend to import, meet New Zealand standards.

Investigation and Compliance Director, Geoff Allen, says shipments will be held at the border until the authority approves their release, to aid the identification of any products that could contain the toxic chemical melamine and stop its entry into New Zealand.

Four Chinese babies have died after consuming melamine and more than 54,000 other children have fallen ill. Mr Allen says the new rules will ensure New Zealanders are consuming safe dairy products.

Meanwhile, New Zealand company Tatua Co-operative Dairy Company based in Morrinsville has suspended exports as it investigates how dairy protein lactoferrin became contaminated by melamine.

Last night, confectionery-maker Cadbury recalled chocolate products made at its Beijing factory from shelves in Hong Kong, Taiwan and Australia because of the melamine scare. It is not immediately clear whether the items are sold in New Zealand.

- NEWSTALK ZB