Caption: Premila Kumar. Photo: SHALENDRA PRASAD.
The Consumer Council is advising consumers that the infant milk formula that has been recalled in New Zealand, China and other countries are not sold in the Fiji market.
The Council’s survey of local supermarkets and pharmacies found no Karicare Infant Formula (Stage 1, 900g can and 29.6g single serve sachets and; Gold + Stage 2 Follow on Formula 900g can and 32.8g stick (4pack). However, the Council is urging consumers if they come across this brand they should immediately inform the Council of where it is being sold and by who. They can also contact the Ministry of Health’s Food Unit.
The infant formula was recalled by New Zealand authorities and manufacturer Nutricia NZ Limited after potentially harmful bacteria was found in the protein concentrate used as an ingredient in the product. The ingredient is supplied by Fonterra, the world’s largest exporter. The NZ-based company had notified its customers that the ingredient WPC80 contact the bacteria Clostridium Botulinum which is potential harmful to humans.
A general advisory by New Zealand Food Safety Authority (NZSFA) prompted the Consumer Council to find out whether the brand and batch of affected infant formula was sold locally.
Apart from the survey, the Council has received assurances from two major importers of infant formula – Nestel and Makans Drugs & Pharmaceutical Supplies – that they do not sell the affected brand and batches.
The Council is urging consumers to maintain vigilance on this as the product may find its way to some people by other means e.g. sent by relatives or purchased from overseas.
Premila Kumar, Chief Executive Officer, Consumer Council of Fiji