New Zealand issues global botulism alert

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New Zealand on Saturday warned international health authorities of exported dairy products, including infant formula, containing a bacteria that could lead to botulism — a potentially fatal illness. The government said the contaminated whey protein concentrate, or products using this ingredient, had been exported to Australia, China, Malaysia, Saudi Arabia, Thailand and Vietnam. Dairy giant Fonterra, which manufactured the product more than a year ago, said eight customers had been advised and were investigating whether any of the affected product was in their supply chains. There have been no reports of any illness linked to consumption of the affected whey protein. The New Zealand dairy industry contributes 2.8 per cent of GDP and is worth $8.1 billion annually. — AFP

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