Troubled French dairy giant Lactalis has said it will compensate victims of a salmonella contamination in its baby milk products.

The company’s chief executive Emmanuel Besnier told the Sunday newspaper Le Journal du Dimanche that Lactalis would “pay damages to every family which has suffered a prejudice”.

But the move is unlikely to halt a judicial investigation into how the outbreak occured.

Besnier’s promise came two days after Lactalis widened a product recall to cover all infant formula made at its Craon plan, regardless of the manufacture date.

Lactalis CEO Emmanuel Besnier has stood by the French dairy giant’s procedures throughout the recall of infant formula that has been linked to more than 30 children falling ill and which has been widened to take in more than 80 countries.

Friday’s recall update was the the fourth extension to a recall first announced last month.

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The widening of the recall followed the revelation a number of French grocers had still been stocking formula that had been the subject of the previous recall, issued on 21 December.

That news sparked criticism of Lactalis by the French government but also led to the wider supply chain coming in for questions.