This picture taken on Dec. 4, 2017 shows the Celia dairy company's infant milk factory that belongs to the LNS Lactalis group in Craon, western France. France's Health and Food Sagety authorities have withdrawn and recalled several batches of infant milk made in this plant, that were contaminated with salmonella bacteria. (Agence France -Presse/Damien Meyer)
A baby who drank milk produced by the French dairy giant Lactalis has been diagnosed with salmonella in the Spanish Basque country, taking the number of cases in the country this year to two, authorities said Saturday.
"A second case of an infant affected by an infection with salmonella Agona" was detected at the Basurto University Hospital in Bilbao, the Department of Health of the Basque regional government said in a statement.
Lactalis has been engulfed in scandal since December when authorities ordered a massive international recall of the baby milk which made at least 38 babies ill in France and Spain.
The statement said the child consumed "formula milk developed by the French group Lactalis", adding the baby was in "good" state of health, was under medical surveillance but not in hospital.
Another baby who had consumed contaminated Lactalis infant milk had already been identified in the Basque region. His infection with salmonella was confirmed on January 12 by scientists at the Pasteur Institut and Public Health France.
Lactalis announced a few days later the withdrawal in Spain of 37 additional batches of infant food products potentially contaminated with salmonella.
In December it withdrew all products manufactured from February 15, 2017 at the Craon plant in western France, where salmonella contamination had been detected.
The products concerned in Spain are mainly powdered milk and cereals of the Damira, Sanutri and Puleva brands, sold exclusively in pharmacies.
Lactalis has been the target of heavy criticism after it emerged that the company's own tests found salmonella at the factory in Craon, but it did not sound the alarm because it had not detected the bacteria in the milk itself.
The company is facing several lawsuits over the outbreak, and police raided the group's headquarters in Laval, western France, earlier this year.
It recalled 12 million packages of the affected baby milk, under brands including Picot, Milumel and Celia, across 83 countries.
Salmonella causes fever and diarrhoea in infants, along with vomiting in some cases, which can lead to babies being hospitalised for dehydration.
According to French health authorities, all of the babies sickened by salmonella-tainted milk made a good recovery.