The Head of Communications of the Food and Drugs Authority (FDA), James Lartey has said contaminated powdered baby milk products of Lactalis, a French dairy group, is not on the Ghanaian market.
The products, which include;The Picot, Milumel, Celia, and Taranis have caused Salmonella outbreak in France, Spain and Greece with more than 37 babies reportedly affected in those countries.
He said More than 12 million boxes of the powdered baby milk had already been recalled in 83 countries following the outbreak.
Mr Lartey told the Ghana News Agency (GNA) in an interview that checks by the FDA have revealed that the products were not on the Ghanaian market. “When the information came, we checked our database and it was not a product registered in Ghana.
He added: “Checks from the FDA Port office indicates that such products are not on the Ghanaian market, however, due to the porous nature of our borders, the authority is not ruling out the possibility of some people leaking the product into the market.
He said the FDA has, therefore, increased surveillance at the borders especially the Togo and Cote d’Ivoire to ensure that such products do not enter the Ghanaian market.
“We have also embarked on a Post Market Surveillance across the regions and the products are not on the market, but the FDA is still undertaking the surveillance to ensure public safety. If we should find anything, then we shall make it public,” he said.
Mr Lartey appealed to the public that despite FDA’s surveillance, “if any person should come across the said products anywhere on the Ghanaian market, they should alert the FDA.
Lawsuits have been filed in other jurisdictions by parents who claimed their children became unwell after drinking the formula. Some people have also raided the company’s premises including a factory in Craon, North-Western France.
The Lactalis group, which is one of the world’s largest producers of dairy products, has said it believed the contamination was caused by renovation work at its Craon factory.
Salmonella can cause diarrhoea, stomach cramps, vomiting and severe dehydration. It can be life threatening, especially in young children.
The illness, caused by intestinal bacteria from farm animals, is dangerous for the very young and elderly because of the risk of dehydration.