Fonterra, the biggest processor in New Zealand’s $11 billion dairy industry — 95 percent of which is comprised of exports — announced that three batches of its whey protein WPC80, used as an ingredient in infant formulas and sports drinks, among other products, pose a risk of botulism.
The batches of why concentrate, produced in May 2012, were sold to eight companies, including three food companies, two beverage companies and three manufacturers of animal stock feed.
While Fonterra did not announce the companies to which the whey ingredient was sold, the New Zealand Ministry for Primary Industries said Saturday that Nutricia Karicare Follow-on formula for infants 6 months and older was among the products that included the ingredient.
Fonterrra exported the whey product to seven countries, including China, which has begun sourcing more of its infant formula from abroad after melamine-tained formula killed six babies there and sickened more than 300,000, raising concerns about products made in the country.
Fonterra’s chief executive, Theo Spierings, was scheduled to fly to China Saturday to address the issue with Chinese health officials, according to BBC News.
Other affected countries include New Zealand include China, Australia, Thailand, Malaysia, Vietnam and Saudi Arabia, reported BBC.
Fonterra says no illnesses have been linked to consumption of the protein concentrate to date.
None of Fonterra’s brand products, which include Anchor, Anlene and Anmum, contain the whey as an ingredient, the company said.© Food Safety News