New Zealand-based dairy giant Fonterra announced earlier today that it has initiated a voluntary recall of 300ml and 500ml bottles of Anchor and Pams fresh cream with a best before date of 21 January 2014 “because quality tests have shown there may be the presence of E.coli.”
The recall involves 8,700 bottles of fresh cream distributed to retail and foodservice outlets up and down New Zealand’s North Island.
Fonterra has advised the public not to consume the products subject to recall.
“We are sorry for the inconvenience and concern this recall might cause but food safety and quality are our top priorities,” said Peter McClure, managing director of Fonterra Brands NZ.
No reports of illness
According to Reuters, tests on cream manufactured last Monday at Fonterra’s Takanini plant in Auckland discovered high levels of coliform – a bacterium that can indicate the presence of E.coli. Additional tests confirmed the presence of E.coli, the report added.
Although most E.coli strains are considered harmless, certain strains can cause severe illness in humans.
McClure told Reuters, however, that there have been no reports of illness linked to consuming the affected products.
Latest contamination scare
Today’s recall was announced amidst the continuing fallout from Fonterra's recent whey protein concentrate (WPC) contamination scare.
In August 2013, Fonterra issued an alert to eight customer over concerns that three batches of WPC potentially contaminated with botulism-causing Clostridium botulinum had entered the supply chain. In response, manufacturers including Danone-owned infant formula firms Dumex and Nutricia Australia New Zealand (Nutricia ANZ) pulled products from shelves across Asia, Australasia, and the Middle East.
Tests later revealed that the initial alert was a false alarm.