Seoul (ANTARA News/Yonhap-OANA) - South Korea`s state quarantine service said Friday that a locally produced baby formula was found to be contaminated with harmful bacteria that can cause food poisoning.

The staphylococcus aureus bacteria, also called golden staph, was found in the Absolute Premium Plus-2 formula made by Maeil Diaries Co., the National Veterinary Research and Quarantine Service (NVRQS) said.

The bacteria was found in products made at the company`s Pyeongtaek plant, 70 kilometers south of Seoul, on Feb. 6, it said.

Staphylococcus aureus is a gram-positive bacteria that can cause food poisoning, minor skin infections and, in some rare cases, bring about pneumonia, meningitis and toxic shock syndrome. Symptoms include nausea, vomiting, diarrhea and abdominal pain, which doctors are usually able to treat with antibiotics.

Maeil made a total of 49,774 cans of the formula -- 39,819.2 kilograms -- that expires on Aug. 5, 2012. Of the total produced, 12,060 cans are in the company`s storage and have not been sold.

"A recall order has been issued for the 37,714 cans that have been released on the market, with consumers told to return the formula they bought to stores or the manufacturer," the NVRQS said.

Gyeonggi Province, where the Maeil factory in located, has been told to take administrative action against the company and to implement preventive measures, it said. (*)

Editor: Kunto Wibisono
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