BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN – A popular milk-based sweet, White Rabbit Creamy Candy, has been deemed non-halal by authorities after testing showed the candy contained pork protein, the Ministry of Religious Affairs (MoRA) said on Saturday. 

The ministry warned Muslim consumers to avoid the Chinese-made product and ordered retailers to move any existing stock to the non-halal section of supermarkets.

In a statement issued yesterday, MoRA said the Halal Food Control Division had submitted samples of the candy to the Ministry of Health’s Department of Scientific Services and found that the ingredients contained pork protein. 

White Rabbit has been a popular candy in Southeast Asia for decades and recently saw its popularity surge due to the White Rabbit-flavoured ice cream trend sweeping Malaysia and Brunei.

Following the ministry’s announcement, several local ice cream makers such as Project Ice Cream and Rumah Gelato said they will discontinue production of White Rabbit-flavoured ice cream and will take necessary measures to properly clean equipment and facilities in order restore customers’ confidence.

MoRA reminded all importers of food products to clearly list ingredients on food labels in either Malay or English.

False and misleading food labeling is an offence under the Public Health (Food) Act, and offenders can be fined and/or imprisoned for up to five years. 

The ministry also warned licensed traders who possess the halal certificate or halal permit that all food products used, sold or served on their premises must be approved by the Brunei Islamic Religious Council. Offenders can be fined up to $8,000 and/or sentenced to two years in prison.