The Ministry of Trade has withdrawn from supermarkets, possibly contaminated baby milk and cereals produced by a french dairy company, Lactalis, from February 15 last year.
Government is advising citizens to immediately notify State authorities if they come across shops that are still selling milk and cereals which have been identified to possibly contain salmonella bacteria. The call is based on the premise that some businessmen may still be selling the products in spite of government effort to withdraw all of it from shops nationwide.
On December 26, 2017, LACTALIS International, French company producing baby milk and cereals, issued a statement recalling all of its baby milk and cereals produced from February 15, 2017.
Agents of Cameroon’s Ministry of Trade swung into action two days after the statement as Minister Luc Magloire Mbarga Atangana ordered withdrawal of the products from all shops and pharmacies in the country. Charles Monefong Abessolo, Chief of the Control and Research department of the Ministry of Trade told Cameroon Tribune the operation was carried out nationwide to prevent further sale of the products.
He said normally companies that bought such products are supposed to return them to LACTALIS and get a refund.
“It should be noted that the company itself, revealed that a batch of its products is suspected to contain a harmful substance that may cause Salmonella infection (salmonellosis). The company ordered the recall in collaboration with French government’s health authorities,” Monefong said.
The statement from the company highlights that the withdrawal is only a precautionary move and also says further that consumers who are unable to return the products, should boil the milk for two minutes and let it cool to its normal temperature before consuming it.
A stores accountant at one of the branches of NIKI multiple stores in Yaounde told Cameroon Tribune they are fortunate they do not sell products from the company. He said agents of the Ministry of Trade visited their shops about two weeks ago to find out whether or not they had the products.
At the Marché Central branch of Dovv supermarket, the attendant sounded rather happy the baby bilk is not popular in Cameroon, noting that they too do not sell it.
The batch of products recalled consists of 12 million boxes of powder milk distributed to 83 countries in Africa, Europe and Asia. As of January 14, some 35 babies in France had already been diagnosed of salmonellosis. Its symptoms include nausea, fever, vomiting, abdominal cramps, chills, headache and blood in the stool.