Dutch food company Numico has announced that it has been required by the authorities to recall a small batch of baby food products in Italy.

The Italian Ministry of Justice has enforced the recall as tests revealed traces of ITX (isopropylthioxanthone) in the product.  ITX is a substance utilised in printing inks for certain packaging materials.  The batches that will be recalled involve products under the brand names ‘Aptamil 2 Liquid’, ‘Aptamil Soya’ and ‘Aptamil Babymil’ and are estimated to involve less than 100,000 litres.
The form of packaging that causes the migration of ITX into the product has been used by the entire food industry for a broad range of food products – including infant formula, dairy deserts, soup, cream etc. – for more than 20 years, the company said.  The migration of ITX into products was first discovered in September 2005. 

The industry as well as the European Commission and all its member states were immediately informed and agreed that the ITX migration does not cause a health risk.  Various independent (toxicological) experts and the European Food Safety Authority have also concluded that ITX migration poses no known health risk.  Notwithstanding these conclusions, Numico immediately changed to non-ITX migrating packaging after having been informed in September 2005.
The EFSA has reiterated on 23 November 2005 that “the presence of ITX in food could be considered undesirable but it is not likely to present a health risk at the levels reported”.