One of the world’s largest dairy groups may have been selling salmonella-tainted baby milk for more than a decade, according to multiple reports.
French dairy group Lactalis has recalled 12 million tins of its products from around the world after babies took ill after drinking the contaminated product. According to reports, there were 38 Salmonella Agona infections reported between mid-August and December last year, with three dozen of those linked to Lactalis milk.
In a statement released this week, Lactalis said that the contaminant was discovered in one of its drying towers in northern France. The same strain of Salmonella Agona has been traced back to a second outbreak in 2005.
The recall includes all baby milk powder and cereals produced at the plant. The outbreak and subsequent crisis is expected to cost Lactalis hundreds of millions of dollars.
According to the Centers for Disease Control, those suffering from Salmonella Agona “develop diarrhea, fever, and abdominal cramps 12–72 hours after infection. Infection is usually diagnosed by culture of a stool sample. The illness usually lasts four to seven days. Although most people recover without treatment, severe infections may occur. Infants, elderly persons, and those with impaired immune systems are more likely than others to develop severe illness. When severe infection occurs, Salmonella may spread from the intestines to the bloodstream and then to other body sites, and can cause death unless the person is treated promptly with antibiotics.”
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