No food safety risk from Karicare products

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The Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) has confirmed that, on the basis of information to hand, there was never a food safety risk associated with any Karicare products made with whey protein concentrate (WPC).

This includes all of Nutricia NZ Limited's Karicare Infant Formula.

MPI has received results confirming that products containing WPC manufactured by Fonterra, including all Nutricia Karicare Infant Formula Stage 1 and Karicare Gold + Follow-On Formula Stage 2 products, are not and never were contaminated with Clostridium botulinum and pose no risk to consumers of contracting botulism.

The organism detected is confirmed as Clostridium sporogenes. It is therefore not capable of producing botulism causing toxins.

There are no known food safety issues associated with Clostridium sporogenes, although at elevated levels certain strains may be associated with food spoilage.

"Yesterday, I revoked my Director-General's statement, issued under the Food and Animal Products Acts, about this issue," said MPI Acting Director General, Scott Gallacher. "That covers the precautionary advisory for the two above-mentioned Nutricia Karicare products."

"We sought additional testing at both local and international laboratories, seeking the most robust results we could get. Scientists used a range of methods – all came back negative for Clostridium botulinum," said Mr. Gallacher.

"The WPC had been used to manufacture a range of products, including Nutricia's."

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