France orders major recall of baby milk over salmonella fears

12 December, 2017, 19:10 | Author: Lora Ball
  • The Celia dairy company's infant milk factory that belongs to the LNS Lactalis group in Craon western France

French health officials said 26 infants have gotten sick since December 1.

It covers millions of baby milk powder products marketed globally under the Milumel, Picot and Celi brands.

The recall will affect consumers in countries including China, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Britain and Sudan, underlining the company's global reach. Apparently, five new cases of babies affected by salmonella were detected in the past week, belonging to the same strain (Salmonella agona) that caused the initial Salmonella alert, and has been traced to the PICOT rice-based baby formula, not included in the Dec 2, Salmonella-tainted brand recall list.

Lactalis, one of the world's biggest dairy producers, said that "nearly 7,000 tons of products" may have been contaminated but it is now unable to decide the amount that is still on the market, or in stock. Most people recover without treatment.

Orient EuroPharma Co., one of the three Taiwanese importers of products made by French baby formula maker Lactalis, said Monday its baby formula - "Babycare" HA3 hydrolyzed protein formula - is safe.

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"(Lactalis is) sincerely sorry for the concern generated by the situation and expresses its compassion and support to the families whose children fell ill", the company said in a statement.

The company has taken precautionary measures to disinfect facilities at a plant in northwest France, believed to be the source of the salmonella contamination, company spokesman Michel Nalet told media.

This previous booster was ordered after Salmonella contamination of 20 infants under 6 months of age who had consumed these products. The company ordered a first recall that has been extended to more products at the request of French authorities following new cases of infections.

French company Lactalis, one of the largest dairy groups in the world, is headquartered in Laval, western France.

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