Continuing checks

The ministry called the contamination "extremely contained", but checks were continuing across the country following the positive tests on the samples taken in the southern cities of Bari and Naples.

 Milk laced with melamine caused four deaths
in mainland China [Reuters]
Milk and other dairy products laced with melamine have been blamed for the deaths of four infants and for more than 54,000 falling sick in mainland China.

On Thursday, authorities seized Chinese-made products at shops in Naples, including a tonne of milk believed to be contaminated with melamine.

The milk, which had a long shelf life, was sold in tins and was of a brand known to have been contaminated, said a statement from the authorities.

Even if the milk turns out to be uncontaminated, it would still be illegal because imports of dairy products from China are banned, Vincenzo Stabile, an official, said.

Other items seized included chicken legs, an import that was banned amid concerns over bird flu, as well as products made from endangered animals and plants, Stabile said.