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China's Bright Dairy recalls hundreds of tainted milk cartons

29 June 2012

Bright Dairy & Food is recalling hundreds of cartons of milk in China after the batch was contaminated with an alkaline solution due to a mechanical error.

The recall was initiated after several consumers complained online about a bad smelling and discoloured liquid in 950ml cartons of the company's Ubest brand milk.

According to the firm, a delay in the routine equipment maintenance work at one of its factories in Shanghai caused a small amount of alkaline cleaning solution to mix into nearly 300 cartons of milk, which were produced on 25 June.

In a statement, Bright Dairy apologised for any impact the incident had on its customers, and added that it would strengthen relevant management procedures and carry out a strict factory inspection.

Shanghai Quality and Technical Supervision Bureau, the city's quality watchdog, is investigating the case and has asked the company to provide a clear report about the incident, including recall result, customer complaints and the food safety hazard.

Consumers have also been asked not to consume the affected products of Ubest milk.

This is only the latest scandal to hit the Chinese dairy industry. Just a few weeks ago, Mongolia Yili Industrial Group recalled six months' worth of infant formula after the government's quality watchdog found high levels of mercury in some of its products.

China's dairy industry has been plagued by a series of scandals after the tainted milk controversy in 2008, in which 22 dairy companies were implicated for using the industrial chemical melamine in milk and infant formula.

The country has been struggling to control food safety violations despite harsher punishments and new regulations to address the problem.


Image: Bright Dairy's recall is one of the latest scares to hit the Chinese dairy industry, which has been plagued by a series of scandals since 2008. Photo: courtesy of Alessandro Paiva.