PARIS A French company said Tuesday it had ordered the withdrawal of a batch of powdered baby milk sold exclusively in pharmacies after traces of salmonella were found in eight babies.
Stressing that there was no link to a milk scandal gripping China, Novalac said it had taken the precautionary step on suspicion that salmonella was present in boxes of AR Digest with the expiry date June 18, 2011.
"Boxes corresponding to this batch number 10 must not be used and must be returned to pharmacies," it said in a statement.
Traces of salmonella had been observed in the faeces of eight babies and Novalac had been alerted to the problem on Monday, the company told Reuters.
The batch in question consisted of some 4,500 cartons filled with boxes of the powdered milk, and had been on sale since early July, it said.
"This precautionary measure is not..in any way linked to the contamination of melamine which has appeared in China," Novalac said.
Milk powder laced with the industrial chemical melamine has led to nearly 13,000 Chinese infants being admitted to hospital, 104 in a serious condition with kidney stones and agonizing complications. Four have died in past months.
(Reporting by Gwenaelle Barzic; Writing by Tamora Vidaillet, editing by Mark Trevelyan)