Health Desk-- 9 January, 2018: Acting on instructions from local agent of French dairy giant Lactalis and the Bangladesh Food Safety Authority (BFSA), local distributors of the company’s baby milk formula are scrambling to recall units sold in the Bangladesh market as a precaution against salmonella contamination, reports news agency UNB.
According to a BFSA source who spoke on condition of anonymity, and JS International, the local agent of Lactalis, French health authorities concluded 620 batches of the company’s products had to be recalled and banned for consumption and export, equating to almost 7,000 tonnes of goods.
Fourteen importing countries including Bangladesh were alerted in this regard.
Lactalis believes the contamination happened at one of its drying towers in north-west France in early May this year. As a precaution, it has decided to recall all products manufactured at the site since February 15, 2017 and has shut down the relevant facilities for cleaning and disinfection.
On being alerted by the International Network of Food Safety Authorities (INFOSAN), BFSA relayed the information to the Chittagong Port Authority, Customs and the National Revenue Board, one of the earliest agencies encountered by imported goods for tax purposes, and asked them to prevent milk formula produced by Lactalis under the brand names Baby Care-1, Baby Care-2, Baby Care-3, Baby Care MF, Milumel, Picot and Celia, from entering the country.
Stating the presence of salmonella bacteria in baby formula as “severely harmful for public health”, scientist and member of BFSA Manjur Morshed Ahmed told UNB that consumers, parents and children doctors have to be advised to avoid the products.
As Bangladesh is one of the largest markets for baby formula, BFSA published the public statement to stop the importation and consumption of the products following the Food Safety Act, 2013.