Russian branch of Nestle says `not notified` of baby food ban
Russia`s branch of the Swiss food giant Nestle has not been officially notified by the Russian consumer rights watchdog of a ban on some its baby food imports, a company manager said.
"We have not yet received any official notifications from Rospotrebnadzor," said spokesperson Marina Zibareva.
The products, which are currently being sold in Russia, have all the necessary documents, confirming their quality and safety, including those issued by Rospotrebnadzor, Zibareva said.
Last week, Russian chief sanitary doctor Gennady Onishchenko said that Rospotrebnadzor had banned for the first time the Finnish branch of the Nestle company from importing some of its baby food products to Russia.
The ban was introduced over the company`s "relaxed technological discipline," Onishchenko said, without specifying the exact baby food products concerned.
Swiss food manufacturer Nestle increased its sales in Russia last year by 12%, compared with 2008, to 57 billion rubles (around $2 billion). The company owns 14 plants in Russia which produce a broad range of products, including coffee, chocolate, bottled water and cereals.
Earlier on Monday, Onishchenko said Rospotrebnadzor had banned the Gerber Products company, part of the Nestle holding, from importing four kinds of its poultry baby food products to Russia.
He said the ban was issued as the company failed to comply with the restrictions on using chlorine in the processing of poultry meat, which had been introduced by Russia on January 1.
Under the new requirements, the amount of chlorine should not exceed the level set for drinking water, 0.3-0.5 milligrams per liter and the fluid that separates when defrosting the meat should not exceed 4% of its total weight.
Around 80% of U.S. poultry supplies to Russia have been suspended since January over failure by U.S. poultry producers to meet Russia`s new safety requirements. Washington says this will damage the American poultry industry and push prices up for Russian consumers.
Chlorine has been used as the primary anti-microbial treatment in the United States for a quarter of a century.