Lactalis Salmonella cases suspected in Spain, Greece

Baby food scandal hits France

"This is a major malfunction in the process of recall by the managers, to whom responsibility lies", the minister said in the margins of a press conference that he presented for the presentation of the worldwide exhibition of agricultural products expected to be held by the end of February, every year, in Paris.

After Leclerc last Tuesday, many other big distributors announced yesterday that they sold products from the withdrawn lots: 434 baby milk packages and cereal products from Carrefour, 384 milk packages from Systeme U and 52 from Auchan.

French President Emmanuel Macron deflected blame Thursday in the latest chapter of a dairy scandal that has embarrassed the French government, major supermarkets and a dairy giant.

An infant who fell sick after drinking milk from the French group Lactalis contaminated with Salmonella bacteria has been reported in Spain and another case is being investigated in Greece, French health authorities said Friday. Privately owned Lactalis exports its products to dozens of countries across Europe, Africa and Asia.

Lactalis, one of the largest diary product manufacturers worldwide, made the nationwide recall in December 2017 after one of the factory's assembly lines was found contaminated with salmonella.

Baby food scandal hits France
Contamination saga may hurt reputation of French agri-business: minister

"We can only confirm if it is the same strain with DNA testing" now underway, he said.

It was only in December, after around 30 infants fed Lactalis milk had fallen ill, that the health ministry sounded the alarm.

Le Maire fired harsh criticism against Lactalis before the press conference, calling it a "failing company".

The plant has been at a standstill since Dec 8 and said on Thursday it put 250 of its 327 staff on shorter working hours until at least early next month. The illness, caused by intestinal bacteria from farm animals, is especially risky for the very young and elderly because it can cause severe dehydration. Several days later the company recalled 720 more batches of its products.


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