Fonterras contaminated whey sparks recalls

Fonterra's contaminated whey sparks recalls

Danone and Abbott Laboratories have issued infant formula recalls in China in the wake of Fonterra's admission it supplied whey powder that contained bacteria that could cause botulism.

Danone has launched a "preventative recall" of some Dumex branded Bell Baby and NT Plus products, the company confirmed.

The infant formula was made using contaminated whey supplied by Fonterra. Danone is removing affected products from the shelves and displaying in-store notices to alert customers. The company has also set up a care line to handle consumer concerns.

The response reflects Danone's "zero-tolerance" approach to food safety issues, the French firm added. The group emphasised the majority of its products are unaffected by the recall.

The company has also recalled two products from its Nutricia Karicare range in New Zealand. Reports in Asia suggest Danone has also recalled products in Hong Kong, Singapore and Malaysia.

Meanwhile, Abbott has recalled two batches of Gain Advance Stage 3 infant formula in China.

While Abbott said it was not supplied with the contaminated ingredient, the company indicated it is recalling the products because they were packaged on Fonterra's production line.

Included in the recall, only 112 boxes of more than 7,000 produced have been sold, Abbott said.

Fonterra revealed on Friday three batches of WPC80 contain clostridium botulinum, bacteria that can cause botulism. The company said the batches were produced at a single factory in New Zealand and exported to eight customers in New Zealand and international markets, including China, Malaysia, Thailand, Vietnam and Saudi Arabia.

The news has sparked a swathe of product recalls by food and drink companies, including the likes of Coca Cola Co. 

Chinese authorities have banned the import of certain Fonterra products and the Chinese food safety authority - the General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine - has ordered products containing Fonterra ingredients off supermarket shelves in the country.

In a statement, AQSIQ said that Hangzhou Wahaha Health Food Import and Export Co., Hangzhou Wahaha and Shanghai Sugar Cigarette & Wine Co. had also imported the contaminated whey powder. The companies have taken "traceability, recall and other measures", the safety watchdog suggested.