Import of Kiwi milk on hold

The Ministry of Health has decided to temporarily suspend the importing of milk powder from New Zealand.

A Health Ministry statement also said that all imported milk powder will undergo strict tests before it is released into the market from the Colombo port.

The decision was taken after Fonterra New Zealand reported that some of its products used in infant formula and sports drinks may contain a bacteria that causes botulism.

Fonterra said that tests indicated the potential presence of a strain of Clostridium (Clostridium Botulinum) in a whey concentrate sample, which can cause botulism.

The company said it had advised eight of its customers of a “quality issue” involving three batches of a particular type of whey protein concentrate (WPC80) produced at a single New Zealand manufacturing site in May 2012.

As a result, these customers are urgently investigating whether any of the affected product, which contains a strain of Clostridium, is in their supply chains. If need be, they will initiate consumer product recalls.

There have been no reports of any illness linked to consumption of the affected whey protein, Fonterra said in a statement. Dairy products such as fresh milk, yoghurt, cheese, spreads and UHT milk products are not affected, it said. (Colombo Gazette)

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