Fonterra confirms E. Coli contamination

Fonterra is conducting a voluntary recall of its 300ml and 500ml Anchor and Pams fresh cream, with tests showing E.Coli may be present.

The recall affects 8,700 bottles of fresh cream with a best-before date of 21 January, 2014, distributed in New Zealand’s North Island from Northland to Turangi, including Gisborne.

The cream has been distributed to retail and foodservice outlets, Fonterra said in a statement, which urged consumers not to consume the product and to return it to its place of purchase for a full refund.

Fonterra Brands NZ managing director, Peter McClure, said “We are sorry for the inconvenience and concern this recall might cause but food safety and quality are our top priorities.”

According to stuff.co.nz, a Fonterra spokesman said the contamination had been traced to Fonterra's processing facility at Takanini in Auckland, adding that it’s unlikely the contamination came in milk.

The recall comes just months after another contamination scare at Fonterra, which saw widespread recalls of Danone’s Karicare infant formula product. In August 20113 Fonterra issued a warning that the whey protein in the formula could contain a bacterium known to cause botulism.

Thirty-eight tonnes of the protein were believed to have been contaminated by an unsanitary pipe, however it was later uncovered that the bacteria wasn’t clostridium botulinum as originally thought, but was identified as clostridium sporogenes, which doesn’t lead to any known food safety issue.

Danone has now launched legal proceedings against Fonterra.