(Repeats without change to text)
By Naomi Tajitsu and Colin Packham
WELLINGTON/SYDNEY Jan 13 New Zealand's Fonterra
said on Monday it was recalling products distributed
in the country that had been contaminated with the E.Coli
bacteria in the second food-safety scare faced by the company in
less than six months.
The dairy co-operative said it was recalling 8,700 bottles
of fresh cream marketed under its Anchor brand with a 'best
before date' of Jan. 21, 2014 and which were distributed to
retail and food service outlets around New Zealand's North
Cream sold under the Pams brand, owned by New Zealand's
Foodstuffs distributor and retailer, was also included in the
"We are sorry for the inconvenience and concern this recall
might cause, but food safety and quality are our top
priorities," Fonterra said in a statement.
The recall comes after Fonterra, the world's largest dairy
processor, in August said that one of its ingredients used in
infant milk formula, sports drinks and other products contained
a potentially fatal bacteria, triggering recalls in Asian
countries including China.
Further testing showed the initial finding was a false
Fonterra said that regular testing at its Takanini site in
Auckland had shown that the cream manufactured last Monday had
high levels of coliform, a bacteria found in the intestines of
warm-blooded animals, along with plants, soil, air and water
that can indicate the possible presence of E.Coli.
Further test results released on Monday confirmed E.Coli
"A small amount of the product had gone on to the market,
but the rest of the product we immediately put on hold and today
we decided to recall the products on the market, based on the
further testing" Peter McClure, managing director of Fonterra
Brands NZ, told Reuters.
Most strains of E.Coli are harmless, although several are
known to produce toxins that can cause diarrhoea. One particular
E.Coli strain called O157:H7 can cause severe diarrhoea and
Fonterra had no reports of illness caused by consuming the
affected product so far, McClure said, adding that it was
unlikely that other products manufactured at the sight were at
risk of contamination.
"We tested batches before and after this particular one and
they're both absolutely clear. We've sent retained samples for
further testing, but we're very confident there are no further
issues," he said.
The latest food safety issues come a week after France's
Danone announced it was suing Fonterra for
compensation after the French food manufacturer recalled its
infant formula brands in Asian countries including China and New
(Editing by Prateek Chatterjee and Matt Driskill)