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Lactalis baby milk recall a nightmare of its own making

Neil Hodge | February 6, 2018

Food safety standards are among the most stringent in the world—and rightly so. As a result, food manufacturers need to assure the public that their products are safe and that when there is a lapse in such a duty of care, they can put the problem right safely and immediately. Unfortunately, France’s Lactalis has seemingly failed on both counts.

The French dairy giant has been forced to recall baby milk from 83 countries after it emerged that its own tests had discovered salmonella at one of its key factories last August and November. In fact, it believes that the contamination could have stemmed from renovation work carried out in early 2017. The company, one of the world’s largest producers of dairy products, however, only informed France’s health authorities and the public in December—over nine months later.

In the two months since the scandal unfolded, Lactalis has suffered a PR disaster of its own making. The company’s bungled attempts to remedy the situation have...

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