Coca-Cola recalled products in three provinces

Coca-Cola recalled products in three provinces

The Coca-Cola Co's Greater China unit has recalled 19,000 cases of Minute Maid dairy drink after fears they are contaminated with a bacteria that can cause botulism.

In a statement on its website today (5 August), the unit said the products contain contaminated whey protein from New Zealand firm Fonterra, which over the weekend confirmed it had exported tainted ingredients to five countries, including China. The recalled Minute Maid Pineapple Pulpy Milky products are in Guangdong, Yunnan and Guangxi provinces, however, Coca-Cola said because of the heat-treatment process it uses, there is no risk to consumers. 

Fonterra's CEO has reportedly apologised to consumers over the health scare. On Friday Fonterra said a batch of its whey protein, produced in May last year, contained a strain of the clostridium bacteria. Clostridium can cause the potentially fatal illness botulism.

Companies in Malaysia, Vietnam, Thailand and Saudi Arabia also received the contaminated whey protein, and Danone baby milk subsidiary Nutricia has issued a recall of its products in New Zealand.

Fonterra said there have been no reports of illness linked to the affected whey protein.

In 2008, China experienced a contaminated milk scandal in which six babies died and 300,000 people fell ill. The chairwoman of the company at the heart of the scandal, Sanlu Group, was sentenced to life in jail.