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August 1, 2011

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Food poisoning milk is 'a one-off,' insists Nestle

NESTLE yesterday sought to assure customers that its milk products are safe, claiming a bottle in Hong Kong found to contain harmful bacteria was a one-off.

Hygiene arrangements at its dairy facilities meet requirements, insisted the world's biggest food producer.

And two subsequent samples of its skimmed high-calcium milk drink tested were untainted, it added.

The drink tested by the Hong Kong Center for Food Safety is not sold on China's mainland, said He Tong, a Nestle public relations manager.

But some shop owners on Taobao.com, China's biggest online trading platform, sell the product.

The Hong Kong center said on Friday that it tested a 236-milliliter bottle of the skimmed high-calcium milk on June 8, after receiving a customer complaint.

It found the level of bacillus cereus in the milk reached 13 million per milliliter, more than 120 times higher than the legal limit imposed by Hong Kong authorities.

Consuming food or drink contaminated with bacillus cereus may cause food poisoning with vomiting and diarrhea, the center said.

It said the sample, which was taken from a local supermarket, was due to expire on June 10.

Nestle said yesterday that the center took another two samples from the same batch as the problematic one, while the company also sent samples to a third-party institution for testing.

Both tests showed the milk was safe, the company said.

A public relations manager with Taobao told Beijing-based Legal Evening News that it was monitoring for the product.

Nestle's high-calcium milk could not be found for sale on Taobao yesterday afternoon.





 

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