Lactalis forced into new recall in baby milk scare

Lactalis forced into new recall in baby milk scare

French dairy group Lactalis is widening a product recall to cover all baby milk manufactured by a factory at the centre of a salmonella contamination.

The move comes as the government seeks to contain reputational damage to France’s strategic agri-business industry in overseas markets. Three dozen children have fallen ill in France and at least one other in Spain.

After talks with Lactalis management Le Maire said the company would recall all infant formula milk products made at its Craon factory that were still in warehouses and on store shelves, regardless of the date of manufacture.

In a later statement Lactalis confirmed the extended recall and pledged to find and eradicate the causes of the salmonella contamination.

Implementing the recall will be challenging. Privately owned Lactalis exports its products to dozens of countries across Europe, Africa and Asia.

The tough measure reflects high-level frustration at the botched handling of the crisis after France’s biggest supermarkets -- including Carrefour (CARR.PA), Auchan and Leclerc -- this week said that some Lactalis products subject to recalls in December still found their way onto their shelves.

Salmonella infections can be life-threatening, particularly for young children, and the recall risks damaging Lactalis in China. Consumers in China, a fast-growing market for baby food and dairy products, are particularly sensitive to such scares after melamine-tainted baby milk led to the deaths of six children in 2008.

Published: by Radio NewsHub
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