French Dairy giant Lactalis ordered his second massive recall of baby food products in two weeks after new contaminations by salmonella bacteria. The tainted baby milk scandal may now affect some 30 countries.
In what it described as “a precautionary measure” Lactalis, one of the world’s top dairy producers, recalled a massive batch of infant food products this week. “Information received from the health authorities as well as the results of initial investigations carried out led the group to issue a second recall, this time of all products manufactured since February 15, 2017” it said in a statement.
“The decision was taken to extend the recall of all infant nutrition products made or packaged at our Craon site since February”, said Lactalis. Were concerned infant cereals of the group’s Picot and Milumel brands, as well as the Taranis powdered amino-acid mix on both French and overseas markets. The massive recall involves 720 batches of products sold in France and overseas. This operation follows an initial recall of 625 batches, or nearly 7,000 tonnes of products, on December 10.
Products supplied by the Craon plant, in north western France, are at the heart of the controversy. They are suspected of being linked to recent cases of salmonella infection among infants in France. On Monday, the health authorities said that 23 infants had been identified as having drunk formula milk produced at Craon and who had caught salmonellosis. Sixteen were hospitalized but later released and are now doing fine.
The symptoms of salmonella poisoning include abdominal cramps, diarrhea and fever. Most people recover without treatment. It is, however, potentially dangerous for young children, the elderly or weak. Lactalis spokesman Michel Nalet told the Press the Craon site was shut down on December 8 “for a thorough and comprehensive audit”.
“We wish to extend our sincerest apologies to the families affected. We are well aware of the seriousness of the situation and fully understand the anxiety and inconvenience that have been caused,” he said. By recalling all of the factory’s production, Lactalis was applying “the principle of maximum precaution,” commented Jehan Moreau, director of the French National Federation of Dairy Industries or FNIL.
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