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July 23, 2012

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Bacterial level high in butter, cheese

BATCHES of Bright Dairy's butter and cheese found to contain excessive bacteria by the market watchdog in Guangzhou, capital of southern Guangdong Province, have been removed from local shelves amid safety concerns.

The Guangzhou Industrial and Commercial Administrative Bureau announced over the weekend that reduced fat cheese and butter produced by the Bright Dairy & Food Co Ltd were found to contain the bacteria in a recent check.

Eating food containing excessive bacteria may cause symptoms such as vomiting and diarrhea, doctors said.

Shanghai-based Bright said the problem was caused by "damage during long-distance transportation and unstable temperatures in sales" locations. "We sent the same batches of the food sold in the market for third-party inspection after the incident," said Gong Yanqi, manager of the company's pubic relation department.

"We have recalled the same batch of food sold in the market, including the Shanghai market, though the test results showed they met qualifications," she added.

The problematic reduced fat cheese was produced by a Shanghai subcontractor on February 23. The butter was produced by a Beijing firm on April 23.

This is the most recent food safety scandal of the dairy giant. Its Ubest milk was found to be contaminated with an alkaline solution last month.

An automatic valve didn't switch on immediately at one of Bright's factories, which led to some alkaline water left in a pipeline to mix with the fresh milk on the production line during routine equipment maintenance.

"The factory director has been removed from his post," the company said in an apology letter over the weekend.


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