French coy in trouble for producing poisoned milk

The firm's CEO said that the consequences of this health crisis for consumers including babies under six months were at the forefront of his mind

A salmonella scare at a French dairy giant has led to a recall of 12 million boxes of baby milk products across 83 countries. After meeting Besnier on Friday, finance minister Bruno Le Maire said: "I can not guarantee that right now there isn't a single tin of baby milk left on a shelf in a giant warehouse or in a pharmacy".

"The aim of this radical step is simple: to avoid delays, problems in sorting batches, and the risk of human error", French finance minister Bruno Le Maire said on Friday, according to The Guardian. The recall involves some 12 million tins of baby milk in total.

Besnier said the recall will be challenging since the company does not know how many baby milk boxes have been consumed already.

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Hundreds of lawsuits have been filed against Lactalis by families who say their children suffered from salmonella poisoning.

So far, there have been 37 reported cases of infants suffering from the disease as a result of the outbreak, 35 in France, one in Spain and another suspected in Greece.

An association representing victims says the authorities are underestimating the number of cases.

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However, Mr Besnier said no general alarm had been raised "because we had no element showing our products were affected". Its products include Président butter, Société roquefort, and Galbani ricotta and mozzarella in Italy.

With 246 production sites in 47 countries, its list of products also features household names like President butter and Societe roquefort.

The company owns two brands, Picot and Milumel, which have come under fire across 83 countries.

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He said some of the victims, who had injuries to their hands and feet, had been taken to nearby hospitals. The building also houses numerous worldwide businesses and agencies, including the World Bank.

According to The Guardian, salmonella bacteria allegedly contaminated baby formula produced by the French dairy company Lactalis, which is the world's largest dairy company.

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