Whey protein concentrate contamination incident
In 2013, there was a suspected contamination of whey protein concentrate with Clostridium botulinum. Testing later confirmed no products had been contaminated. MPI released a number of documents related to the incident.
What was the contamination incident?
The incident in 2013 came from the suspected contamination of whey protein concentrate (WPC) with Clostridium botulinum. After extensive tracking and a precautionary recall, MPI was able to establish that no products had been contaminated.
A Government inquiry was launched into the incident, in particular, to find how the potentially contaminated WPC entered the New Zealand and international market and how the problem was addressed.
The Inquiry was headed by Miriam Dean CNZM QC, assisted by Tony Nowell CNZM and Dr Anne Astin PSM. It was independently peer reviewed by Professor Alan Reilly, who heads the Food Safety Authority of Ireland.
MPI information release
In recognition of the public's interest in the incident, MPI released a package of information to supplement the inquiry's report and the Government's response.
- Director General's statement under the Food Act and Animal Product Act – 28 August 2013 [PDF, 248 KB]
- Recommendations of the Inquiry's final report [PDF, 176 KB]
- March 2015 update on implementation of the first 29 recommendations of the WPC Inquiry [DOC, 86 KB]
- Whey protein concentrate incident tracing and verification report (English) [PDF, 8.1 MB]
- Whey protein concentrate incident tracing and verification report (Chinese) [PDF, 8.2 MB]
- WPC2013 response report: laboratory identification of the Fonterra bacterial isolate [PDF, 2.5 MB]
- Briefings and aides memoire provided to Ministers between 2 August 2013 – 9 August 2013 [PDF, 6.4 MB]
- Briefings and aides memoire provided to Ministers between 10 August 2013 – 29 August 2013 [PDF, 2.9 MB]
- Submission of MPI to the Government Inquiry on the WPC Contamination Incident parts B & C – October 2013 [PDF, 1.4 MB]
- WPC Inquiry Part A submission and additional background documents – 3 June 2013 [PDF, 28 MB]
- WPC Inquiry Part A submission and additional background documents continued [PDF, 28 MB]
- Reply submission to the Government Inquiry into the WPC Contamination Incident on Part A of the Inquiry's Terms of Reference – 25 June 2013 [PDF, 540 KB]