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New Zealand dairy faces new contamination problem

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August 19, 2013 08:56 AM EST | AP

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WELLINGTON, New Zealand — New Zealand's dairy industry faces another contamination problem following a recent botulism scare.

The Westland Milk Products company said Monday that some of the lactoferrin powder it exported to China was found to have high levels of nitrate. The company said all 390 kilograms (860 pounds) of contaminated product have been located and quarantined.

Chief Executive Rod Quin said in a statement it appears that cleaning products containing nitrates were not properly flushed from its factory.

He said the contamination didn't pose a health risk because lactoferrin, an iron-binding protein used in food supplements, is a minor ingredient in the final products that are sold to consumers.

New Zealand company Fonterra sparked a global recall of infant formula made with its ingredients this month after tests found a bacteria that can cause botulism.