Update on CFS' follow-up on French infant and young children formulae incident

14 December 2017
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The Centre for Food Safety (CFS) of the Food and Environmental Hygiene Department said today (December 14) that in view of a further notification from the Rapid Alert System for Food and Feed of the European Commission that the recall of French infant and young children formula products suspected to be contaminated with salmonella has been expanded to more batches, CFS' investigation found that the importer concerned has imported the affected infant formula product of one of those additional batches into Hong Kong. The CFS urged members of the public not to let infants and young children to consume the following affected batch of the product. The trade should also stop selling the product concerned immediately if they possess it.

Product details are as follows:

Product name: Inovital Infant milk from 0 to 6 months (No. 1)
Brand: Mon petit
Manufacturer: Lactalis International
Place of origin: France
Importer: Jumbo Smart Development Limited
Net weight: 900 grams
Best before date: June 19, 2019

CFS' investigation showed that the importer concerned had imported about 3 000 cartons of the affected product. The Centre has immediately instructed the importer to stop sale, remove from shelves and recall the affected batch of product. The Centre has also marked and sealed the remaining stock in the importer's warehouse. Furthermore, the CFS found that the importer had imported another batch of product which was produced by the processing plant concerned (Lactalis Craon Factory) after February 15, 2017. Although this batch is not on the recall list, for the sake of prudence, the importer has voluntarily recalled this batch of the product according to CFS' advice. Product details are as follows:

Product name: Inovital Growing-up milk from 1 to 3 years (No.3)
Brand: Mon petit
Manufacturer: Lactalis International
Place of origin: France
Importer: Jumbo Smart Development Limited
Net weight: 900 grams
Best before date: June 21, 2019

Members of the public may call the hotline of the importer at 2272 1128 during office hours for enquiries about the recall.

The CFS spokesman said, "Powdered infant formula is not a sterile product which may be contaminated with pathogens such as salmonella and Enterobacter sakazakii (Cronobacter spp.). The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations/World Health Organization advise that powdered infant formula should be prepared with boiled water that is no cooler than 70 degree Celsius which can significantly inactivate pathogens including salmonella. Reconstituted powdered infant formula should then be cooled to feeding temperature and consumed immediately. Reconstituted powdered infant formula that has not been consumed within two hours should be discarded. On the other hand, for high-risk infants, including pre-term infants, infants less than two months of age, low-birth-weight infants (< 2.5 kilograms) and immunocompromised infants etc, who are not breastfed, caregivers should use commercially sterile liquid formula whenever possible."

The spokesman advised consumers to seek medical treatment for infants or young children who felt unwell after taking the above products.

The CFS collected infant formula samples at import, wholesale and retail levels on a risk-based approach for microbiological testing under its food surveillance programme to ensure that they are in compliance with local legal requirements and fit for human consumption. Between 2014 and November 2017, the CFS took about 300 infant formula samples for testing with all results satisfactory. The CFS has enhanced surveillance of dairy products available in local market since the incident.

The CFS will inform the trade and continue to closely monitor the latest development of the incident. Investigation is ongoing. 

Reprinted from HKSAR Government:

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