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Greece’s Drug Organization orders withdrawal of Lactalis baby formula amid global salmonella fears

Baby formula is being pulled from shelves around the world after French authorities ordered a leading dairy company to stop selling hundreds of products because of concerns about food safety. Greece’s National Drug Organization ordered the temporary withdrawal of Lactalis “Frezylac” Monday noon.

French firm Lactalis is recalling formula destined for markets including China, UK, Greece, Pakistan and Peru after 26 infants fell ill with salmonella poisoning in France.

Lactalis was told earlier this month about an outbreak of salmonella poisoning among children who had consumed its products, but the steps it took weren’t enough to bring the risk of contamination under control, France’s top health and consumer agencies said.

The affected products are marketed under brands like Milumel, Celia and Picot. The French government published a list online of all the different formulas that it said can no longer be marketed or exported. It urged parents already in possession of them to stop using them.

The list contains also several Lactalis products that are distributed in Greece by the company Frezyderm under the name Frezylac.

The president of FREZYDERM told state broadcaster ERT on Monday that the  milk formula is undergoing all necessary controls and thus twice and that he has not been informed by Lactalis.

Greece’s National Drug Organization EOF has reportedly not been informed either by the French authorities.

Greece orders withdrawal

Health authorities and the EOF have been on alert and Monday noon, EOF ordered the temporary withdrawal of Lactalis/Frezylac products from the shelves of pharmacies and supermarkets. “The measure was preventive until investigation concludes,” EOF said in a statement. The withdrawal order refers to products produced after 15. February 2017 in the Lactalis factory.

EOF calls on parents who have supplied these products to not use them for the time being and ask their pediatricians for alternative solutions.

State broadcaster ERT TV reported early Monday afternoon that a total of 58 different product codes have been withdrawn.

International media report that the suspected contamination took place at Lactalis’ factory in northwestern France. The company said the recall covers all products made there since mid-February.

French national news agency Agence France-Presse quoted a Lactilis spokesman as saying that “nearly 7,000 tonnes” (7,700 tons) of production may have been contaminated. The company didn’t immediately respond to questions from CNNMoney seeking further information.

Lactalis said in a statement Sunday that it was “sincerely sorry for the anxiety caused by the situation and expresses its compassion and support for the families whose children have fallen ill.”

French authorities said the children have recovered.

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