Lactalis to reopen Craon plant

The dairy giant has received the go-ahead from French authorities to resume production following tainted milk scandal

Lactalis, the French dairy giant, has received permission to resume selling baby milk from its factory in Craon. The facility was closed after salmonella-contaminated milk produced there infected dozens of babies.

The company had to recall 12 million tins in France and around the world because of the contamination.

“Conditions are now met to allow the sale of infant milk powder,” the Agriculture Ministry said in a statement.

Lactalis said on Twitter that production at the Craon site is allowed to resume after spending more than 10 millions of industrial investments.

Speaking to FranceTV, Arnaud Birdsey, director general of Lactalis Nutrition Santé, said that everything has been done to bring a maximum level of safety, both via the industrial investments made and by strengthening process control.

The news comes in a time of further investment for the company as Lactalis has agreed to buy the infant formula business of South African drugmaker Aspen Pharmacare for 12.9 billion rand (US$865 million). According to Reuters, the move aims to revive the company's expansion following the tainted milk scandal.

Lactalis has carried out tests at the plant in the northwestern town of Craon for more than three months under the supervision of French health authorities. Regular, unannounced inspections, will be carried out at the plant in the future.

Companies