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DAIRY PRODUCTS

French infants eat Lactalis milk products, suffer salmonella infection
Thursday, 18 January, 2018, 08 : 00 AM [IST]
Paris
A salmonella contamination affair has put food safety in the limelight in France and raised questions about avoiding another health scare wave. Thirty-five infants, who had consumed infant milk products manufactured by Lactalis’ factory in Craon in northwest France, have been confirmed with salmonella infection.

Lactalis is a family-owned dairy group based in Laval in the west of France. The country’s economy minister Bruno Le Maire recently admitted that there were abnormal failure. He added that consumer safety was not negotiable. “We have to take time to make the diagnosis with all the concerned actors,” Le Maire added.

The country's consumer protection agency, DGCCRF, rendered ordered the suspension of the sale and export of several baby food products made at the Lactalis Craon plant.

“All these elements led to consider that the measures taken by the company were not likely to control the risk of contamination of products intended for young children’s feeding,” it added.

In an interview with a local newspaper, Lactalis chief executive Emmanuel Besnier rejected critics of the contamination's mismanagement. “We have never ignored the risk of salmonellosis. Recall is a maximum precaution. Our job is to put healthy products on the market. But we consider that there were no failures on our part on the procedures,” Besnier added.

He also proposed to pay damages to the families of 35 infected babies. Quentin Guillemain, president of the victims’ families association, said, “Families want the truth. They are not waiting for compensations, but that such a scandal is not renewed.”

The food safety affair worsened after France’s retailers, including Carrefour, Auchan and Leclerc, admitted they sold the products that had been recalled.

Le Maire is scheduled to meet the National Consumer Council shortly to discuss ways to improve withdrawal and recall procedures.

The salmonella agona bacteria is dangerous for the young and the elderly and can provoke severe diarrhoea, stomach cramps and vomiting.

(Source: Xinhua)
 
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