August 28, 2013 / 4:15 AM / in 4 years

Fonterra products free of botulism bacteria - NZ Ministry

WELLINGTON, Aug 28 (Reuters) - Dairy giant Fonterra’s products at the centre of a global contamination scare earlier this month did not contain a bacteria that could cause botulism, New Zealand officials said on Wednesday.

The Ministry for Primary Industries says tests of products containing suspect whey protein concentrate had clostridium sporogenes, which cannot cause botulism.

Earlier Fonterra, which asked for a trading halt in its units, had urgently called for the test results to be released to counter unsubstantiated rumours in the market.

Countries including China, Russia and Sri Lanka imposed temporary bans on some or all of Fonterra products, while other countries have stepped up scrutiny of dairy products supplied by the company.

Fonterra has said that the contaminated whey protein concentrate was caused by a dirty pipe at one of its processing plants in New Zealand, although it has declined to give additional details.

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