French supermarkets admit to selling salmonella contaminated Lactalis products after recall

The headquarters of Lactalis the world's third-largest dairy group in Laval western FranceMore

Carrefour said it sold 434 products that should have been recalled.

Several markets on Tuesday admitted to selling French baby-milk maker Lactalis' products that could have been possibly contaminated with salmonella virus.

Hypermarket chain Casino, which also owns the Franprix and Geant franchises, said it had sold a total of 363 affected products.

But Thierry Desouches also denied there was any malice in the retailers" actions, questioning whether they would intentionally risk their reputations to keep stocking a product for "derisory' profits.

He said no date to lift the ban could be set "while we have not exactly and precisely identified the source of the contamination, and before it has not been clearly identified and removed", Travert said.

"If there had been a little more responsibility from the Lactalis side, this situation would not occur", he said.

"The two cases involved children who drank the milk in question", said François-Xavier Weill, a bacteriologist at the Pasteur Institute in Paris, confirming a report in the Eurosurveillance medical journal. "It has led to unacceptable behaviour that needs to be punished".

Carrefour has moved to pull all products from the infected factory and not just the 12 batches included in the government's recall order, the company said in a statement.

Officials from the food safety department carried out a routine inspection of the site in September and gave it a clean bill of health, the Canard Enchaine investigative weekly reported.

In December 2017, at least 35 infants in France fell ill after being fed tainted products.

Alerts were issued for the concerned countries in early December, after French inspectors descended on Lactalis's Craon factory where the outbreak was traced to.

The group stopped all activities at the site on 8 December and 250 of the 327 workers are subject to partial unemployment measures since the start of this week.

Salmonella symptoms include severe diarrhoea, stomach cramps and vomiting.

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