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Thai FDA recalls 11,000 cartons of diluted milk

BANGKOK — Thailand's Food and Drug Administration ordered a nationwide recall of more than 11,000 cartons of UHT milk after finding that sterilized water at a factory had leaked into the milk, an official said Thursday. The recall issued Wednesday concerned Foremost milk manufactured on May 29 with an expiration date of Jan. 28, 2011. The brand is made by Friesland Foods Foremost (Thailand), a subsidiary of the Netherlands-based Friesland Foods. The problem "should pose no hazard to consumers' health," since the water was sterilized at 130 degrees Celsius (266 degrees Fahrenheit), said FDA secretary-general Pipat Yingseree. None of the 11,232 cartons in the lot were exported. The recall was issued after an inspection based on a customer's complaint that milk purchased from a suburban Bangkok store appeared to be diluted. The inspection at a plant outside the capital in Samut Prakan detected a foreign substance in the milk. The company said the problem was caused by a broken meter used to control rinsing the milk pipes with sterilized water, which instead sent some of the water into milk cartons, Pipat said. The company is being fined 50,000 baht ($1,500) for selling a substandard product and could face stiffer fines and prison terms if an investigation shows violations of other regulations, he said. A Bangkok-based company spokesperson did not immediately return phone calls seeking comment. — AP