Taiwan: Bureau investigates dairy after school children fall sick

Source of Article:  http://www.taipeitimes.com/News/taiwan/archives/2009/02/18/2003436395

By Shelley Huang
Wednesday, Feb 18, 2009, Page 2

Following a case of food poisoning in Changhua County suspected to have been caused by Kuang Chuan Dairy’s (光泉牧場股有限公司) long-life or ultra-high temperature processed (UHT) milk, the Bureau of Food Safety said yesterday it was still in the process of investigating the incident and has ordered a recall of the product.

On Monday morning, 13 students and teachers at Shichou Elementary School (溪洲國小) in Changhua County displayed symptoms of food poisoning, including vomiting and fever, the Bureau said.

“We have already asked [Kuang Chuan] to recall products with the batch numbers that we suspect to be problematic,” Bureau of Food Safety Director-General Lin Syue-rong (
林雪蓉) said.

“We sent [officials from] the Changhua County Public Health Bureau to inspect the factories and sent samples to be tested at our laboratories,” she said.

The bureau said the batch numbers of the milk that is suspected of causing the food poisoning were CG1310, CH1311 and CI0902, and urged the public not to purchase products with these batch numbers.

Out of about 720 cartons that were produced, approximately 600 cartons had already been recalled, with the rest yet to be tracked down, Lin said.

The 13 students and teachers were hospitalized but were not in a critical condition, she said.

Meanwhile, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) said that it had received 10 samples to be tested and estimated test results would be ready tomorrow or on Friday.

The Bacillus cereus and Staphylococcus aureus bacteria have most commonly been identified as responsible for past food poisoning outbreaks.

The source of any problem in Kuang Chuan’s milk had yet to be determined, the CDC said.

UHT refers to the partial sterilization of food by brief heating at a temperature exceeding 135°C.
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