A spate of salmonella infections overseas continues to impact Hong Kong as the city’s health authorities on Thursday expanded a list of recalled baby milk products from dairy company Lactalis following the same action by their French counterparts.
On Tuesday, the Centre for Food Safety issued its first warning for parents and traders not to use or sell batches of three products under the brand “Mon petit”:
1) “Inovital Infant milk from zero to six months (No 1)” (900 grams, with best before dates on March 13, 2019 and June 22, 2019);
2) “Inovital Follow-on milk from six to 12 months (No 2)” (900 grams, with best before dates on March 16, 2019 and June 27, 2019); and
3) “Inovital Growing-up milk from one to three years (No 3)” (900 grams, with best before date on March 15, 2019)
The call was made after a notification from the European Commission’s Rapid Alert System for Food and Feed that said those three products had been imported into Hong Kong.
The centre said importer Jumbo Smart Development had brought in about 28,000 cartons of the affected products, and some of them had been distributed.
The remaining stock in the warehouse had been immediately sealed, and another 15,000 cartons that were being shipped to Hong Kong will also be sealed on arrival.
On Thursday, the centre expanded the ban to another batch of “Mon petit” products: “Inovital Infant milk from zero to six months (No 1)” (900 grams, with best before date on June 19, 2019).
Some 3,000 cartons had been imported to Hong Kong.
The second call was made after the centre learned that the French authorities had expanded their recall list.
Meanwhile, for the sake of prudence, the importer also voluntarily recalled “Inovital Growing-up milk from one to thee years (No 3)” (900 grams, with best before date on June 21, 2019), which was produced by the processing plant concerned in the scandal after February 15 but was not on the French authorities’ recall list.
Consumers with inquiries can call the importer on their hotline at (852) 2272 1128.
The Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations and the World Health Organisation advised that powdered infant formula should be prepared with boiled water that is no cooler than 70 degrees Celsius, which can significantly inactivate pathogens, including salmonella, a centre spokesman said.
Earlier this week, Lactalis, one the world’s largest dairy companies, with a base in Laval in the west of France, ordered a global product recall following more than 20 cases of salmonella infection in babies in France and a subsequent ban on its formula milk and baby food by the French authorities.
The recall covered hundreds of baby milk powder products marketed globally, including exports to the mainland and Taiwan.