MPI exploring food safety issue advised by Fonterra Friday afternoon

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The Ministry for Primary Industries is working closely with Fonterra on a food safety issue with a range of products manufactured from whey protein concentrate produced at a single New Zealand manufacturing site in May 2012.

The whey concentrate appears to contain a strain of Clostridium botulinum, which can cause botulism.

"Our focus is on ensuring that there are no contaminated products on the New Zealand market. We are working with Fonterra and its customers, to identify if there are any products posing a risk," MPI Acting Director General Scott Gallacher said.

"At present, we are continuing to verify information provided to us, and we will update further if any products are identified. Products on the market will be recalled if they are found to contain the contaminated protein."

Mr Gallacher said the government had advised the appropriate regulatory authorities in overseas markets of the situation.

"We are also working with Fonterra to establish what has happened, how it happened, and what can be done to ensure it does not happen again."

Fonterra informed MPI of the contamination Friday afternoon.

Fonterra has advised the whey concentrate is used in a range of products including infant formula, growing up milk powder and sports drinks. Dairy products such as fresh milk, yoghurt, cheese, spreads and UHT milk products are not affected

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