Bangladesh holds Fonterra milk products over scare

DHAKA, August 27, 2013 (AFP) – Bangladesh authorities have restricted imports of powdered milk mostly from New Zealand dairy giant Fonterra following a contamination scare that has seen global recalls, officials said Tuesday. Customs officials are holding more than 600 tonnes of powdered milk mostly from Fonterra until mandatory chemical tests showed they were safe, a senior official in the port city of Chittagong said.

“Samples have been sent for chemical tests, we will release them when reports confirm they are not containing any harmful bacteria,” joint secretary of the city’s customs office, Mahmudul Hasan, told AFP.

Officials have been instructed to hold consignments of milk at the border following the recall by Fonterra earlier this month of baby milk products over concerns they could contain a bacteria that could cause botulism, which is potentially fatal.

“We have instructed the customs officials to restrict delivery of those consignments pending chemical tests, because this is a matter of public health,” commerce secretary Mahbub Ahmed told AFP.

The global scare sparked restrictions on imports of Fonterra-branded dairy products by countries including China since early this month.

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