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Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 17 December 2018

UAE removes Lactalis baby milk after salmonella contamination

The UAE will remove the product from stores after the French company said that 26 infants have fallen sick from the contamination

One of the world's largest infant formula makers issues product recall over salmonella contamination. Nicole Hill / The National
One of the world's largest infant formula makers issues product recall over salmonella contamination. Nicole Hill / The National

The UAE will remove Lactalis-made infant formula after the French company recalled products after cases of salmonella were reported.

The Abu Dhabi Food Control Authority as well as municipalities of the other six emirates are responsible for implementing the circular.

"The decision is based on the findings of a technical report following the warning issued by the French Directorate General of Health regarding the contamination of the infant milk, which had been exported to 30 countries including the UAE," the ministry said in a statement.

Lactalis, one of the world’s largest dairy producers, conducted further testing after its first recall on December 2, issuing a new purge of some of its products since February 15.

“Since December 1, the health authorities have brought to our attention a Salmonella Agona contamination, which has caused 26 infants to become sick,” Lactalis said in a statement, adding that the culprit seems to have stemmed from one of its drying towers during the first week in May. “The consumption of these products must therefore be stopped and replaced by a product of substitution.”

A company spokesman, Michel Nalet, told the AFP that nearly 7,000 tonnes of production may have been contaminated. The products being recalled include: Milumel Bio, Milumel Relais and Milumel Premigest. The company has recommended that families in possession of these products should report the item to the store and request a refund.

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The French dairy company has offices and subsidiaries throughout the Middle East, including its main branch in Dubai which covers the GCC and Levant countries. It is unclear if these products are distributed throughout the region. Lactalis had not responded to The National at the time of writing.

The company reiterated its “deep regret to all parents whose children could have become ill as a result of the consumption of certain infant milks from his unit, and his wishes for speedy recovery to young children.”