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Whey protein contamination

Update on testing Wednesday 28 August 2013.

The New Zealand Ministry for Primary Industries has received results confirming that the bacteria found in the whey protein concentrate (WPC) manufactured by Fonterra is not Clostridium botulinum. Read more on the MPI website…


The New Zealand Government has advised trading partners about the potential contamination of some products made from milk whey protein concentrate (WPC 80).

The whey protein concentrate was manufactured by Fonterra in New Zealand in May 2012.

Products known to be potentially affected are confined to three batches of whey protein concentrate manufactured at one Fonterra plant in New Zealand. These were subsequently used as an ingredient to manufacture infant formula, juice/dairy beverages, yoghurt, UHT sport beverages as well as animal stock food. 

The whey protein concentrate, and products made from it, is known to have been exported to the following jurisdictions:

New Zealand Government comment

New Zealand Trade Minister Tim Groser says as soon as New Zealand authorities were notified of this risk they immediately acted to inform relevant authorities around the world.

More comment from the New Zealand Government can be found on the website: http://beehive.govt.nz/minister/tim-groser

How did this happen?

Fonterra informed the New Zealand Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) about the potential contamination on Friday 2 August 2013.

Fonterra says the contamination occurred when a product was re-processed using a disused production line that had not been cleaned appropriately. More information on this is available from the Fonterra website – www.fonterra.com.

Consumer information

The following table outlines the relevant authorities you should contact for more details:

Country Regulator
New Zealand Ministry for Primary Industries
Australia Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry (DAFF)
China AQSIQ – The General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine
Hong Kong Centre for Food Safety
Malaysia Ministry of Health - Malaysia
Thailand Food and Drug Administration Thailand
Saudi Arabia The Saudi Food and Drug Authority
Viet Nam Viet Nam Food Administration


Media queries

For more information, media should call +64 29 894 0328.

Further information is available on the MPI website.



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Page last updated: Thursday, 29 August 2013 08:59 NZST