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France Orders International Recall of Baby Food


A notice warns customers of precautionary recall of products in a supermarkert of Lille, northern France, Monday, Dec. 11, 2017. Baby milk maker Lactalis and French authorities have ordered a global recall of millions of products over fears of salmonella bacteria contamination. The French company, one of the largest dairy groups in the world, said it has been warned by health authorities in France that 26 infants have become sick since Dec. 1. (AP Photo/Michel Spingler)

France and a French food manufacturer have ordered a major international recall of several food products for babies.

The Lactalis Group is one of the world's largest manufacturers of dairy products. It said French health officials warned the company that 26 babies had been sickened with salmonella since December 1.

The French Ministry of the Economy ordered the suspension of marketing and export of several baby products made at a Lactalis factory in Craon, France. It said all the products were manufactured after February 15, 2017.

The French health ministry’s website says the recall affects nine countries in four continents: Britain and Greece in Europe; Morocco and Sudan in Africa; Peru and Colombia in South America; and Pakistan, Bangladesh and China in Asia.

The United States, a major market for Lactalis products, is not affected.

A company spokesman told the Associated Press Monday that the recall is "precautionary" and involves "several million" products.

Lactalis noted in a statement that the 26 cases of infection were linked to products with the brand names Picot SL, Pepti Junior 1, Milumel Bio 1 and Picot Riz.

The statement included an apology and expressed support to the families whose children were sickened. The company said it has taken measures to clean the area of the factory where the bacteria spread.

Infection with salmonella can cause sickness. Signs of infection include abdominal pain, diarrhea and higher than normal body temperature. The sickness is more dangerous among some populations, including the very young.

The Lactalis Group is a privately held company. Its headquarters is in western France. Lactalis has 75,000 employees in 85 countries and earnings of about 17 billion euros a year. Its famous brands include Président and Galbani cheeses, as well as Parmalat milk.

A full list of the products in question is available on the website of France’s consumer protection agency.

I’m Phil Dierking.

Caty Weaver adapted this story for VOA Learning English. Her story was based on reports from VOA and the Associated Press. George Grow was the editor.

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Words in This Story

recall ­– n. a request by a company for people to return a product that has a defect or problem​

dairy n. milk or food made from milk​

precautionary adj. something that is done to prevent possible harm or trouble from happening in the future​

abdominal adj. the part of the body below the chest that contains the stomach and other organs ​

brand n. a category of products that are all made by a particular company and all have a particular name​

diarrhea n. a sickness that causes you to pass waste from your body very frequently and in liquid rather than solid form​

consumer n. a person who buys goods and services​

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