Statement: Update on contaminated dairy products imported from New Zealand

4 August 2013

Joint media statement: Australian Government, Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry and Food Standards Australia New Zealand.


The Australian Government is continuing to verify whether there are, or have been, any products for sale in Australia that contain a potentially contaminated dairy food ingredient from New Zealand.

The ingredient, a whey protein concentrate, was produced by Fonterra in New Zealand, and may be contaminated with Clostridium botulinum, which can cause botulism.

It is used in a range of dairy products including baby formula and sports supplement drinks. 

The Australian Government is continuing to work closely with the New Zealand Ministry of Primary Industries to ensure that there are no products of concern in the Australian market place and that Australian dairy products are safe for Australian consumers.

No cases of illness associated with the products have been reported.

Nutricia recalled two products as a precautionary measure:

  • Karicare Infant Formula Stage 1 (0–6 months) in NEW ZEALAND ONLY with batch numbers 3169 and 3170 (use by 17 06 2016 and 18 06 2016). The batch number and use by date can be found on the base of the tin.
  • Karicare Gold+ Follow On Formula Stage 2 (6–12 months) in NEW ZEALAND ONLY with batch number D3183 (use by 31 12 2014). The batch number and use by date can be found on the base of the tin.

We are working with the New Zealand Ministry for Primary Industries to verify that these are the only affected products. However, as a cautionary measure and until all information is available, parents may wish to use alternative brands of infant formula.

The Australian Government continues to work closely with New Zealand authorities and Australian export markets to trace-back potentially affected products manufactured in Australia from the imported contaminated ingredient and then sold overseas.

Australia received two batches of the potentially contaminated ingredient from New Zealand.

  • One failed a test for the presence of Clostridia so was not allowed to be sold for human consumption. Some of this product may have been sold as stockfeed and tracing of this product has commenced.
  • A second consignment was used as an ingredient in products that have been exported to New Zealand, Thailand, Malaysia and China. The consignments were tested for Clostridia bacteria and found to meet commercial specifications for export. The Australian Government is working with the importing countries to trace the product.

Consumers are asked to follow advice from New Zealand authorities if they are purchasing potentially affected products over the internet directly from New Zealand.

A body building supplement produced in New Zealand from the contaminated ingredient has been assessed by New Zealand as having negligible risk to human health because it has been subject to heat (UHT) treatment.

The safety of the Australian food supply is of the utmost importance to the Australian Government.  All food offered for sale, whether imported or produced domestically, must meet Australia’s stringent, legislated food safety requirements.

The Australian Government will continue to work with trading partners and New Zealand to manage the risks posed by the potential contamination.