Baby milk maker Lactalis and French authorities have ordered a global recall of millions of products over fears of salmonella bacteria contamination.
French authorities and dairy giant Lactalis have ordered the recall of millions of baby milk products around the world due to fears of salmonella bacteria contamination.
The French company, the largest dairy group in the world, said it had been warned by health authorities in France that 26 infants have become sick since December 1.
Initial reports suggested that Britain was on a French health ministry list of countries affected by the recall.
However, Lactalis later confirmed that the scare does "not concern products in the United Kingdom". A spokeswoman said that Britain had been mistakenly added to a list of countries affected in some reports, but that it was not affected.
The UK Food Standards Agency source said their information suggested that none of the contaminated products have been exported to the UK.
A spokesman said: “The Food Standards Agency is aware of the international recall of Lactalis baby milk. We have contacted the relevant authorities to establish whether any of the affected products have been distributed to the UK. We have not been informed that the UK has received any of the affected products so there has been no recall issued”.
Countries affected include Greece in Europe, Morocco and Sudan in Africa, Peru in South America and Pakistan, Bangladesh and China in Asia, underlining the reach of the company and the difficulty in trying to trace all the potentially at-risk powder.
The 26 cases of infection were linked to products called Picot SL, Pepti Junior 1, Milumel Bio 1 and Picot Riz.
Celia dairy company's infant milk factory that belongs to the LNS Lactalis group in Craon, western France.
A company spokesman said that "nearly 7,000 tonnes" of production may have been contaminated, but that it is unable to say currently how much remains on the market, has been consumed or is in stock.
The "precautionary" recall both in France and abroad affects "several million" products made since mid-February, said the spokesman, Michel Nalet.
Sunday's announcement by the company and regulators in the French economy ministry significantly widens the scare which first emerged at the start of the month with reports of 20 sick children under the age of six.
Salmonella symptoms include severe diarrhoea, stomach camps and vomiting, and the illness -- caused by intestinal bacteria from farm animals -- is dangerous for the very young and elderly because of the risk of dehydration.
None of the 26 victims in France has died.
Asked if any cases had been reported abroad, Mr Nalet replied: "Not as far as I am aware."
Lactalis employs 75,000 people in 85 countries, with a turnover of €17 billion (£15bn).