France decries 'dysfunction' in baby milk recall

France decries 'dysfunction' in baby milk recall

"Lactalis will take back every single box of baby dairy products manufactured in the site of Craon (in northwestern France), regardless of the (production) date", the minister told a press conference following a meeting with Lactalis executives.

At a news conference on Thursday, Lactalis apologized and pledged to do its utmost to determine the cause of the problem.

Implementing the recall will be challenging.

Earlier this week, several major French retailers, including Carrefour, E. Leclerc, Auchan, Casino, Intermarche and Systeme U, admitted having sold suspected products in spite of the recall.

But Thierry Desouches also denied there was any malice in the retailers" actions, questioning whether they would intentionally risk their reputations to keep stocking a product for "derisory' profits.

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

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Salmonella infections can be life-threatening, particularly for young children, and the recall risks damaging Lactalis in China.

"The state. had to take over from a company that failed to act, one which is exclusively responsible for the quality and safety of its products", Le Maire said. "I think this (further recall) is the strongest guarantee we can give".

The cases are the first outside of France in a gathering scandal that has seen 35 children sickened in France from contaminated milk powder sold by the maker of a host of household dairy products.

According to a report published after the recall, French food safety inspectors failed to detect salmonella contamination at a plant belonging to Lactalis, three months before the company carried out a major recall of baby milk.

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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