France's Minister of Agriculture Stephan Traver spoke of a "major malfunction" in the process of recalling milk-based Lactalis products today after distributors had announced that they had sold some of the products that should have been removed from shelves because of Salmonella contamination. Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire said Thursday that the anti-fraud unit DGCCRF would undertake 2,500 additional checks next week. "The government has had to intervene with a company that was out of order and that has the sole responsibility for the quality and security of its products on the market".
At a news conference on Thursday, Lactalis apologized and pledged to do its utmost to determine the cause of the problem.
"We can only confirm if it is the same strain with DNA testing" now underway, he said.
France announces extended recall of Lactalis diary products
The Systeme-U, Auchan, and Casino retail giants also sold the products. But several retailers admitted this week that they had continued to sell the manufacturer's affected products even after the ban.
Auchan said 52 products had been sold after the recall date in 28 stores.
Carrefour said its recall covered 94,959 products but 434 items were sold after the recall.More news: Rio Tinto PLC (RIO) Shares Sold by AMP Capital Investors Ltd
Late Wednesday, retailer Intermarche Chairman Thierry Cotillard said that his company would "definitively" stop selling any infant products from Lactalis's brand Milumel, blaming the dairy group for the mishandling of the products recall.
"This hasn't been taken seriously enough", Jean-Yves Mano, president of consumer association CLCV said on the radio station France Info Thursday.
The initial recall only concerned products made since February 2017.More news: John Williams Confirms Return For Star Wars Episode IX
"This is a major malfunction in the process of recall by the managers, to whom responsibility lies", the minister said in the margins of a press conference that he presented for the presentation of the global exhibition of agricultural products expected to be held by the end of February, every year, in Paris.
Shares in both Carrefour and Casino fell in Paris.More news: Teekay LNG Partners LP (TGP) Given Consensus Rating of "Hold" by Analysts