French dairy giant Lactalis has blown the whistle on specialist cheese maker Réaux after claiming to find pathogenic bacteria in the company's raw milk Camembert cheeses.

The products in question, under the Le Gaslonde brand, are sold through specialist outlets in France.

Lactalis informed the French agriculture ministry, which confirmed the disclosure over the weekend.

"We make raw milk Camembert ourselves and we know how difficult it is to master the bacteriological aspects," a Lactalis spokesman told just-food. "Since we are present in the sector, we like to see how well we do alongside other people who are up against the same problems."

Asked what would happen if the roles were reversed, the spokesman remained bullish. "We do not say that something like this can never happen in our own products but we are interested to learn from those who do tell us they have mastered the process."