Laboratorios Ordesa S.A. has recalled rice milk formula made at a Spanish factory suspected to be the source of a Salmonella outbreak. Combined with the first two companies’ recalls, implicated baby formulas could have been sold in at least 18 countries via retailers and online sellers.
Company officials said only Blemil Plus hydrolyzed rice is affected. Multiple lots of Blemil Plus 1 rice 400 gram and Blemil Plus 2 rice 400 gram are part of the recall, according to the Spanish Agency for Consumer Affairs, Food Safety and Nutrition (AECOSAN).
Pharmacies with affected product lots have stopped selling them. Consumers are advised to return the recalled formula to the pharmacy.
Laboratorios Ordesa becomes the third company to issue a recall in relation to the outbreak. Sodilac and Lactalis have already recalled baby formula products from the production plant in Spain.
Five Salmonella Poona cases in France and one each in Luxembourg and Belgium are confirmed. France also has nine infections it is continuing to investigate. Seven babies were hospitalized for salmonellosis but have since recovered. No cases have been reported in Spain.
Modilac brand powdered milk produced in Spain is linked to the outbreak based on interviews with parents of ill children. Sodilac, the firm that markets these items, withdrew and recalled infant nutrition products based on rice proteins and infant formula made at the Spanish production site from the French market.
Lactalis later recalled 16,300 boxes of Picot AR milk in France because it was also made at this Spanish factory. No illnesses have been linked to Lactalis products.
Industrias Lacteas Asturianas SA (ILAS), owner of the Reny Picot brand, was named by authorities as the Spanish producer and owner of the plant in Anleo, a municipality in the province of Asturias. Food Safety News has contacted the firm for comment but it has not yet responded.
Controls and analyses have been carried out by the company and authorities, according to AECOSAN. So far tests on the products and facilities are negative. Work is continuing to locate the possible root source of contamination by Salmonella Poona that may have affected products made at the factory.
Authorities have carried out several inspections and have decided, as a precautionary measure, to suspend operation of one of the drying towers of the factory and withdraw all rice-based items produced in it.
Belgium, Denmark, France, Germany, Italy, Libya, Luxembourg, Morocco, Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Romania, Spain, Switzerland, Syria, Tunisia, United Kingdom and Vietnam could have implicated products, especially via online sales such as Amazon, according to the RASFF portal.
The European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) and European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) are doing a joint rapid outbreak assessment on the incident with findings expected next month.
(To sign up for a free subscription to Food Safety News, click here.)