NZ formula botulism scare sparks another recall in Vietnam

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French dairy company Danone Vietnam Tuesday followed Abbott in recalling infant formula it made using botulin-tainted whey protein concentrate imported from New Zealand.

A company source said distributors and retailers have been instructed to stop selling Dumex Gold step 2 for children aged between six and 12 months. They were made using lot 300513R1 of the whey protein.

Vietnam last week received a warning from the New Zealand embassy in Hanoi that some of the whey concentrate produced by Fonterra company is contaminated with the deadly Clostridium botulinum.

The concentrate has been exported to Vietnam, Australia, China, Malaysia, Thailand, and Saudi Arabia for making infant formula among other products.

Fonterra had reported to New Zealand authorities after suspecting that a batch of whey contained the bacterium.

Danone Vietnam said 615 Dumex cans using the tainted whey concentrate had been distributed in Vietnam between July 27 and August 1, and around 190 had been sold.

It said customers should stop using cans from the lot and exchange them.

Apologizing, a company representative said if the product causes any health problems to a child, it should be taken to a specialist immediately.

Customers can call the company's hotline at 1800 59 99 44 for questions and complaints.

Several retailers in the city Tuesday exchanged Dumex cans.

After the New Zealand warning Vietnam's Food Safety Department Saturday ordered Abbott to stop distributing Similac GainPlus Eye-Q for children aged between one and three years from 10 lots imported between June 17 and July 3 and recall them.

The department also warned about Karicare formula made by New Zealand's Nutricia using Fonterra's whey concentrate.

While New Zealand's Ministry of Science and Innovation said tainted Karicare had only been sold locally, the Vietnamese agency nevertheless ordered Karicare importer Chau Uc Nutrition to report about its purchases.

Abbott and the New Zealand ministry both said they have not received any health-related complaints.

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