Bacteria found in milk products

Photo: Kan Jiang

Milk products in store. Photo: Kan Jiang

KAN JIANG

The Ministry of Primary Industries (MPI) has prompted a recall on milk products following the discovery of botulism-causing bacteria by New Zealand company Fonterra.

The Ministry of Primary Industries announced last week that Karicare Infant Formula Stage 1 (0-6 months, batch numbers 3169 and 3170) and Karicare Gold+ Follow On Formula Stage 2 (6-12 months, batch number D3183) would be recalled from shelves across the world.

The event has caused panic among young Chinese mothers whose infants are the product’s largest consumer group in the world.

There was also a large concern over the quality of infant formula produced by Karicare in Australia due to bacterial contamination.

University of Queensland student Wang Yi-dan, who also has a business selling milk powder online to Chinese consumers, was alarmed by the issue.

“I need to reply at least twenty enquiries asking about the safety of Karicare products…their fear of contamination is growing,” she said.

Last Saturday afternoon the author was in Woolworths with Karicare products clearly on display when a shop assistant said Karicare milk powder was not forced to be pulled off the shelves.

The shop assistant also quoted the Department of Agriculture who announced that only one Australian company had imported the batch and it had been cleared.

In a pharmacy in Sunnybank, a Brisbane suburb and home to many Chinese people, notices were displayed that read ‘Nutricia Australia has issued a statement on 4 August 2013 clarifying that Karicare stock in Australia is not affected by the recall’.

As a result Chinese consumers are returning to buy Australian milk products.

There was a large stock of milk powder in the pharmacy with boxes of milk powder everywhere.

The shopkeeper said “since the announcement was made, business is better than before. We sold 200 cans of Karicare Gold Step 3 one day which is a recorder.”

Tobacco stockist Wang Yi-dan said “the orders increased immediately, so I had to buy more milk powder to fulfill their demands.”

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