France's Lactalis forced into new recall in baby milk scare

France's Lactalis forced into new recall in baby milk scare

The admissions by Carrefour, Leclerc, Auchan and Systeme U deepened a salmonella health scare that began in early December when France's consumer protection agency ordered the halt to sales and a global recall of products from a factory in northwest France. "There has been unacceptable behavior which should be punished", Le Maire told a news conference.

Speaking on Thursday, President Emmanuel Macron promised necessary punishment for those involved.

That scandal caused distrust in locally produced infant formula and benefited foreign suppliers such as Nestle, Danone and Lactalis. The baby milk powder was recalled previous year after a number of children fell ill.

Lactalis - whose Picot, Milumel and Taranis brands were affected by the recall - has stopped operations at a factory in northwestern France in order to try and eliminate the risk to the public.

On Dec. 10, Lactalis - one of the world's top manufacturers of dairy products - ordered a recall of 625 batches or almost 7,000 tons of products after almost 30 infants fell sick.

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"Several hundreds more want to file suit, and will do so in the coming days", he said.

On Thursday, a spokesman for Lactalis, Michel Nalet, apologised once again to parents, adding that the firm was working "in flawless collaboration" with French officials to contain the outbreak.

Desouches claimed the recall was complex and rejected the suggestion that Systéme U had taken too long to respond.

The Minister then called on the managers, "each of them, the manufacturers, the intermediaries, the distributors ... to shed light on the omissions found and to make sure that none of the products concerned in this case are in the market and in stores ".

A judicial investigation is taking place in France over the contamination and a group of French parents of affected infants said on Friday that they were considering a joint lawsuit.

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