Lactalis has announced that it will be issuing a global recall on 7000 tonnes of baby milk products over fears that it could be causing Salmonella in infants. Lactalis is one of the biggest dairy production groups in the world and sells products including cheese, milk, cream and baby milk under different brand names.
A spokesperson for the international company has advised that the products might have been contaminated with the bacteria during production. Lactalis hasn’t provided any information on how much of the product is still available for sale, how much has been sold so far and how much they have left in stock.
Lactalis and other manufacturers like Danone have seen a surge in Sales in Asia in recent years due to scares the Chinese companies were adding industrial chemicals to their baby milk products. Six babies died and 300,000 became ill, causing consumers to turn to imported brands.
The company sells baby milk in 350-950 gram packets, which is sold under a variety of brand names including Milumel, Picot and Celi. The recall will affect consumers in several countries including China, Sudan, Pakistan, Bangladesh and the UK, and Lactalis says they are still trying to identify all the products that are at risk.
It’s believed that the outbreak started in an evaporation tower in Croan, Northwest France. All milk produced there since February this year has been recalled as a precautionary measure, and all machinery has been disinfected to try and reduce the risk of the issue re-occurring. When asked if any cases had been reported abroad, a Lactlalis spokesperson replied “Not as far as I am aware.”
Symptoms of salmonella include vomiting, diarrhoea, stomach cramps and fever, and can take 12-72 hours to develop after ingesting contaminated products. Infections are caused by bacteria from farm animals and be especially dangerous in the very young due to the risk of dehydration.
Symptoms usually last for between four and seven days and treatment isn’t required in the majority of cases. Medical treatment is only required in severe cases, and can potentially become life threatening in infants if dehydration persists and causes more serious side effects.
The recall on milk products follows the recent news that 26 children have fallen sick in France this month with suspected Salmonella which has been linked to Lactalis products. A statement from the economy ministry said the measures taken by Lactalis earlier this month were “not sufficient to manage the risk of contamination” and a recall was the only suitable option left.