Ten more babies have salmonella in France: victims’ group

Recalls over salmonella bacteria found in baby milk in a French factory have spread across Europe and into China

PARIS, France (Reuters) — Ten more babies have tested positive for salmonella in France after drinking milk produced by the firm Lactalis, said a group representing families.

Lactalis, one of the world’s largest dairy groups, has recalled 12 million tins nationwide and from stores around the world after last month discovering salmonella bacteria in some baby milk at a factory in western France.

French authorities have said that Salmonella Agona infections were reported in 38 cases between mid-August and December, 36 of them clearly linked to Lactalis milk.

But Quentin Guillemain, president of the Association of Families of Victims Contaminated with Salmonella (AFVLCS), told reporters there were “at least 10 families to this date not accounted for” whose children had tested positive for salmonella after drinking Lactalis milk.

Another case has been confirmed in Spain and one is suspected in Greece. The recalls have stretched as far as China.

President Emmanuel Macron addressed the issue Jan. 25, saying there could be no tolerance for companies that did not respect rules.

AFVLCS’s lawyer, Jade Dousselin, said she would soon file 10 legal complaints from families, eight against Lactalis and two against the retailers Leclerc and Auchan.

Leclerc, Auchan, Carrefour and Systeme U have all acknowledged that some baby milk recalled by Lactalis made it onto their shelves.

The consumer protection body DGCCRF has performed 3,600 checks and found recalled products in two supermarkets, 13 pharmacies, one hospital and six other distributors, the economy ministry said.

Lactalis chief executive officer Emmanuel Besnier has said his group will compensate every family that has suffered harm.

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