Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Inspections over tainted milk start in markets

Inspections over tainted milk start in markets

Inspections over tainted milk start in markets

Government officials began inspecting markets across the country yesterday in search of baby formula containing an ingredient from New Zealand dairy giant Fonterra that could cause botulism, quality control representatives at the Ministry of Commerce said.

“We informed all our officials directly to collect nationwide some batch numbers of products which [local distributor of] the company informed us of,” said Khoun Savuth, an official with the ministry’s Camcontrol department.

“I don’t think we will have any difficulties because we have staff nationwide, and we have had especially good cooperation with the company,” he said, referring not to Fonterra but to the Cambodian purveyor of the potentially tainted baby formula, Danone Dumex.

On Saturday, Fonterra alerted eight companies, including French food giant Danone, that they had bought the contaminated ingredient to use in their products. Through local distributor Danone Dumex Cambodia, the ingredient was traced to baby formula here and a recall of up to 8,000 cartons of the product began on Monday.

The tainted whey protein in question contains a bacterium that can cause botulism, a rare but potentially fatal disease.

Danone Dumex Cambodia received nearly 600 phone calls to its hotline from concerned mothers on Tuesday after the announcement.

Kong Bo, Danone Dumex’s acting country manager, was anticipating an even greater number of calls yesterday, as concerned parents phoned to check their products against batch codes that contain the whey protein.

“The affected code is not the majority of our products,” Bo said, adding that he was unaware of any reports of illness.

The recalled formulas were listed as Dumex Dupro Green, Dumex Dupro Gold and Dumex Dulac Gold, powders used for making infant milk. By the end of the day on Tuesday, Danone Dumex Cambodia representatives had met with 210 retailers and took back hundreds of cartons.

With the ingredient present in products from China to Saudi Arabia, New Zealand’s Fonterra was struggling to meet its self-imposed deadline of late last night to have it removed from circulation.

ADDITIONAL REPORTING BY AFP

MOST VIEWED

  • NagaWorld casinos set to reopen, schools to follow

    NAGACORP Ltd has requested that it be allowed to reopen its NagaWorld integrated resorts in Phnom Penh after the government recently approved casinos to operate again, provided they follow Covid-19 prevention measures set by the Ministry of Health. Mey Vann, the director-general of the Ministry

  • ASEM supports Kingdom’s proposal to postpone meeting amid Covid

    The 13th Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM13) scheduled to be held in Cambodia in November has been postponed until mid-2021 due to the Covid-19 pandemic, a Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation press statement released on Saturday said. The decision was made during a two-day meeting

  • Coffee maker roasted for producing fake product

    The Ministry of Interior’s Counter Counterfeit Committee will send a suspect to court on Monday after she allegedly roasted coffee mixed with soybeans and other ingredients, creating a product which could pose a high risk to consumers’ health. On the afternoon of July 2, the

  • Cambodia armed with money laundering laws

    Money laundering will now carry a penalty of up to five years in prison while those convicted of financing terrorists will be jailed for up to 20 years, according to new laws promulgated by King Norodom Sihamoni and seen by The Post on Thursday. Comprising nine

  • Schools to be reopened in ‘three stages’

    With guidance from Prime Minister Hun Sen, the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport, is in the process of reopening schools in three stages. But no timeline has been set, ministry spokesperson Ros Soveacha said on Thursday. Soveacha said the first stage will be to

  • Thai border crossings eased

    The Cambodian Embassy in Thailand said in an announcement on Wednesday that Thailand’s government has allowed certain passengers from several countries to enter its borders. The visitors must go back to their country immediately after their duties in Thailand are fulfilled, the embassy said.

  • Gov’t says tourism recovers slightly despite pandemic

    The Ministry of Tourism and the Phnom Penh municipal administration have recognised 33 tourism businesses in the capital which have consistently implemented safety measures for tourists and adhered to the code of conduct issued by the ministry. Recently, the ministry announced that tourism businesses had to

  • Mull ASEAN border opening, PM urges

    Prime Minister Hun Sen has requested that ASEAN launch a scenario for gradually reopening cross-border travel and trade between countries in the region. He said ASEAN has had more success combating Covid-19 compared to other regions. The prime minister’s request was made at the

  • Ministry reports 11 new Covid-19 cases, reiterates vigilance

    Minister of Health Mam Bun Heng has urged people to continue practising virus prevention techniques after 11 people tested positive for Covid-19 within two days after arriving in the Kingdom. Speaking on Sunday, Bun Heng stressed the importance of washing hands, wearing masks or scarves when

  • Koh Rong land ‘belongs to firm’

    Preah Sihanouk Provincial Administration spokesperson Kheang Phearum told The Post on Sunday that the 35ha being bulldozed by Royal Group Co Ltd in Koh Rong belongs to it after it was leased to it for 99 years by the government in 2008. Phearum said the land does