Thursday, July 7, 2022

Coca Cola and Danone recall products

Fonterra food scare update  Two of the world’s leading food and drink brands, Coca Cola and Danone, have issued product recalls following notification by New Zealand dairy producer Fonterra that they received an ingredient that included bacteria associated with the potentially fatal disease botulism.

The whey protein concentrate, WPC80, is a dried product used as an ingredient in infant formula and sports drinks.

At a press conference this evening Fonterra undertook to republish all recall information received from the eight previously unidentified customers in seven countries, including New Zealand, that have received shipments from a 38-tonne batch of whey protein concentrate, WPC80.

Danone has issued recalls on products on shop shelves in China and NZ and the Chinese operations of Coca Cola and Wahaha Healthfood, a Chinese customer listed by Bloomberg BusinessWeek as distributing bottled water, have also recalled products.

Three animal feed companies in NZ and Austraia, including Fonterra subsidiary NZ AgriBiz have either issued recalls or contacted customers. An unnamed Vietnamese company has also taken action.

Coca Cola, Danone and Wahaha all believe heat and other treatments in the manufacturing process for their products will have neutralised any threat to human health from the presence of the bacteria in the Fonterra product.

Media reports that Russia had banned all Kiwi dairy products were at this stage "unconfirmed," Gary Romano, the general manager of Fonterra subsidiary NZ Milk Products, who has fronted all media appearances since the crisis broke yesterday morning, said.

The whey, produced in May last year, contained clostridium botulinum, a rare and dangerous form of commonly-found bacteria in the dairy industry. Its contamination came to light only in March when Fonterra went to use some of the batch, long after it had been shipped to foreign customers.

Fonterra chief executive Theo Spierings is due to give a press conference China tomorrow, his first public appearance since the crisis broke, and is holding meetings with regulators and affected customers of the world’s largest exporter of dairy products, many of the largest of whom are in China.

© BusinessDesk

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