Sri Lanka temporarily halts some Fonterra milk product sales after illness

New Zealand’s Fonterra’s still got some problems after Sri Lanka suspended the sale of some Anchor milk powder after some children consumed the product and fell ill, government health officials said on Sunday.

Anchor-milk-BHowever Fonterra, a New Zealand dairy giant, said independent investigations into the three batches concerned proved that they were safe to consume.

The health ministry suspended the distribution and sale of the three batches of Anchor following a complaint of food poisoning in some children in the southern village of Girandurukotte, 224 km (140 miles) from the capital Colombo.

Senerath Bandara, the secretary of Sri Lanka’s public health inspectors’ association, said the Health Services had ordered inspectors to confiscate all stocks of the three batches.
“We have been ordered to hold them until the investigations are over following the reports that several kids had fallen ill after consuming the milk powder,” Bandara told Reuters.
The health ministry has sent the Anchor milk powder packets of the relevant batches for laboratory testing, officials said.

Sanath Mahawithanage, Fonterra Brands Sri Lanka Associate Director for Scientific and Regulatory Affairs, said, “Our investigations conducted on samples from these three batches by internationally accredited independent laboratories confirm that there is no food safety or quality issue.”

Mahawithanage said the company is waiting for health ministry direction after its own local tests and the outcome of their investigation.