Two flavours of a Japanese snack noodle popular with children have been found to contain a banned sweetener. Tests by the Centre for Food Safety have found corn and salad flavour varieties of Baby Star Snack Noodle contain stevioside, a sweetener banned in the SAR. The samples were taken from the Kowloon City outlet of a snack chain store. The snack shop, M-CT Associate (HK), has been asked to withdraw the products from shelves. The centre inspected seven retail outlets recently after reports that some shops might be selling snacks containing non-permitted sweetener. Ten samples were taken from the outlets, three of them - from the Kowloon City outlet of M-CT Associate (HK) - were found to contain the banned sweetener. The products also do not bear appropriate labels in Chinese or English as required by law. The centre said it would consider prosecution. Although the use of stevioside as a sweetener is banned, a government spokesman said that consuming the substance 'should not pose any adverse health effects for an average person'. In the past three years, there have been six prosecutions for selling food containing stevioside. The traders were fined between HK$2,000 and HK$8,000. A spokeswoman for M-CT Associate (HK) told Cable TV yesterday that it was not aware the noodles contained stevioside. 'The noodles are also sold in other places like China, Japan, South Korea,' she said, adding that the products could be returned to the shop for a refund.