The food safety watchdog in southern Guangdong Province warned against tainted dairy products manufactured by a Zhuhai dairy company after 119 children were sickened after drinking the milk, a Guangzhou-based newspaper reported on Saturday.
The provincial food safety agency had sealed up 4,167 boxes of the milk suspected of contamination while the manufacturer, Zhuhai Weiwei Daheng Dairy Company, recalled another 2,706 boxes of such product.
The government warned consumers in five cities, Zhuhai, Jiangmen, Foshan, Zhongshan and Guangzhou, against the risk of drinking 150-ml high-calcium milk, which was packed on March 26, the newspaper said.
Some 75 children in a few day-cares in both Zhuhai and Jiangmen were reported vomiting after drinking the products on Wednesday. The young patients were properly treated and went home from hospital on Friday.
Another 44 children were later reported sick after drinking the same products. No serious consequences were reported from the hospitals.
The local food safety enforcement said it found staphylococcus aureus intestinotoxin, which might lead to digestive infection, from samples collected from both the hospitals and the same products in stock.
The dairy company made an apology statement to the public and said it would compensate for the sick. After careful investigation, the company said it primarily ascertained a calcium material imported from the US problematic.
The company is asked by the government to stop all production lines for a thorough overhaul, the newspaper said.
The contaminated products were distributed to 49 retailers in the five cities. the newspaper said. No report said the products were exported.
The incident triggered the Zhuhai city government to start a comprehensive monitoring network which tracks problematic products and survey similar infectious outpatients in hospitals.