An Asturias factory has shut down one of its drying towers after some products based on rice protein for children with milk-allergy were responsible for salmonella in France, Belgium and Luxembourg.
This was the second outbreak in eight years that has been traced to this particular drying tower, Industrias Lacteas Asturianas (ILA) confirmed.
The previous episode, which occurred between 2020 and 2011, affected 289 babies, all of them in Spain.
Analyses found that the bacteria involved in both outbreaks is the same, Spain’s Ministry of Health confirmed, meaning that the bacteria survived for almost a decade despite the rigorous cleaning measures applied.
Neither was it detected in subsequent inspections at the factory or in the final product although, as the Ministry said, the factory had complied at all times with regulations.
“The problem affected only one consignment of rice-based products but ILA announced that no date has been fixed for reopening the tower which was closed earlier this year.
“We shall not do so until we can guarantee that it is safe,” said a spokesman for the company, which is still unsure how or where the contamination originated.