Supermarket chain, Carrefour, said it had sold 434 products at risk of contamination since the December recall while France's biggest retailer Systeme U said it had sold almost one thousand products. The government is now hoping to limit reputational damage. Three dozen children have fallen ill. The health scare in China caused distrust in locally produced infant formula and benefited foreign suppliers such as Nestle, Danone and Lactalis.
"Lactalis will take back every single box of baby dairy products manufactured in the site of Craon (in northwestern France), regardless of the (production) date", the minister told a press conference following a meeting with Lactalis executives.
The French government is threatening to sanction some of the country's top supermarkets after they admitted recalled baby foods made by Lactalis had still found their way into shops.
Le Maire said the DGCCRF was forced to issue a December 10 recall because Lactalis was too slow to take action.
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In a statement on Thursday, Carrefour said it had sold 434 products at risk of contamination since the December 21 recall, but that another 95,000 had been successfully removed from shelves.
Lactalis spokesperson Michel Nalet, during a Thursday press conference, offered no clear explanation for what went wrong, but said that the scale of the recall was unprecedented in the dairy industry and that the group was investigating.
Leclerc, France's biggest food retailer, said this week it had sold 984 products involved in the recall.
A judicial investigation is taking place in France over the contamination and a group of French parents of affected infants said on Friday that they were considering a joint lawsuit.