Abu Dhabi, September 28, 2010: Abu Dhabi Food Control Authority (ADFCA) asserted that the market in Abu Dhabi did not have any of the Similac Powder Infant Formulas, which Abbott, the manufacturer of the products, had recently recalled following an internal quality review.
City Pharmacy Company, the distributor for Abbott Nutrition in the UAE, sought to assure the public yesterday that none of the recalled products were in circulation in the UAE markets. The inspection teams from ADFCA made a thorough search in the market yesterday and confirmed the products in question were not found. They also took samples of similar products to rule out the possibility of any such defective or contaminated products being in circulation in the emirate.
A spokesperson from ADFCA drew attention to the statement by City Pharmacy Company, which clarified that the Similac Powder Infant Formulas sold in the UAE were manufactured in Ireland, where as the recalled products came from one single manufacturing facility in the US. "We are especially careful on the issue of food items for children. We always make sure that food items for children are totally free from defects and contaminants. The recently introduced directives for school canteens is evidence of how meticulously we approach the issue," he explained.
Though the recalled formulas, which were said to contain beetles and their larvae and offered in plastic containers and 8-ounce, 12.4-ounce and 12.9-ounce cans metal bottles, did not pose any direct health risks, they might cause gastrointestinal discomfort in infants on consumption. Abbott withdrew certain products in the US, Puerto Rico, Guam and some Caribbean countries as a voluntary measure.
Speaking on the standard procedures followed in similar circumstances, the spokesperson said that the Authority would contact the countries involved the moment it came to know of any recall or ban to verify the authenticity of the information. "Once we confirm the veracity of the information, we press our field operations division into service immediately to ensure defective products are not sold in the market. We also take random samples and subject them to laboratory tests on a regular basis. I call upon all consumers to contact us at the toll free number 800555 in case they chance upon any unhealthy products and unsafe practices," he added.