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Harmful bacteria found in baby formula

I read this piece of news this morning in the newspapers, but it was just a tiny column hidden in the World news section and it didn’t have much information. Fearing that it would be a repeat of the tainted milk scandal in China, I decided to do a search to find out more.

The brand of the formula is not revealed anywhere in press releases, but all that is said is that it is an organic baby formula produced in France. This is the news article:

Harmful bacteria detected in French baby formula: South Korea

SEOUL (AFP) – South Korean officials said Tuesday they have found harmful bacteria in a French baby formula product and vowed to step up tests on future shipments.

The National Veterinary Research and Quarantine Service said it detected a strain called enterobacter sakazaki in a shipment of 135 kilograms (297 pounds) of canned organic formula produced by France’s Vitagermine and imported last month.

E. sakazaki bacteria can cause meningitis and enteritis.

Since December 2007 eight shipments of the product weighing a total of 1,492 kilos have been imported and six of these, totalling 1,222 kilos, reached the market.

After last month’s shipment failed tests, inspectors are examining the latest 135-kilo delivery that arrived on February 6.

The quarantine service said it was also checking formula which had already reached the market.

“Most of the 1,222 kg has already been consumed by people who ordered the product online,” Na Byeong-Seung, an official of the service, told AFP.

He said the quarantine service had secured four cans for testing, including two sent in by a shopper alarmed by reports of the bacteria.

Results are expected sometime next week and the service may order a recall if contamination is found.