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September 12, 2012

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Dairy told to clean up act in sour milk case

SHANGHAI'S quality watchdog yesterday urged Bright Dairy to conduct a thorough check of its product safety and enhance staff training after the latest scandal, while a dairy industry official accused the company of covering up the real cause of its sour milk.

The incident happened on Saturday when nearly 1,000 households in Shanghai received sour milk produced by the dairy giant.

The Shanghai-based dairy company blamed the quality problem on transport tricycles, saying the milk was mistakenly transported at the wrong temperature, while experts insisted that fresh milk won't go bad within an hour unless its cold storage facility malfunctioned.

"It is impossible that fresh milk can go sour an hour after being taken out of refrigerators, and a breakdown in the cold storage facility is very possibly to blame," said Wang Dingmian, director of the Guangdong Provincial Dairy Association.

Wang said he suspected the cold storage facility may have stopped operating due to a power failure, but it should have tripped an automatic alarm.

"Bright Dairy's explanation sounds very unreasonable," Wang said, adding that the company bears even bigger responsibility if it was the refrigerator problem.

"The temperature in transportation vehicles failed to meet the standard," a statement of Bright Dairy said earlier. "This caused some of the products to spoil."

The Shanghai Bureau of Quality and Technical Supervision has asked the dairy company to strictly abide by standard manufacturing procedures and conduct a thorough inspection on its delivery vehicles and cold storage system and the training of its delivery and warehouse management workers, said Yang Jun, spokeswoman of the Shanghai government.

Bright Dairy was also asked to raise its awareness on food safety and management of its refrigerators.

An investigation is underway and those responsible will be severely punished if any irregularities are involved, Yang said.

Households in several districts, including Changning, Zhabei, Putuo and Yangpu were affected. Some joked on their microblogs that they ordered milk, but received yoghurt.

This is the dairy giant's most recent scandal. In June, its Ubest milk was found to be contaminated with an alkaline solution. An automatic valve didn't switch on at one of Bright's factories.


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