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Mengniu says worms in its milk 'not possible'

By Hu Min (Shanghai Daily)

08:25, September 10, 2012

DAIRY giant Mengniu yesterday denied a claim that live worms were in one of its cartons of milk.

A woman in southeast China's Fujian Province, surnamed Zhang, said she drank some of the company's high-calcium milk during breakfast at a hotel in Longyan in late August, but found it contained several white worms that she could see were still squirming.

She said she vomited and spat out what she had drunk.

"I detect there is something in the milk, but I think it is just sago and I drink it," Zhang said.

She said she was terrified when she saw the "sago" was wriggling on the spoon and her husband, who also had some milk, was stunned.

The milk was poured into a glass from a carton of Mengniu milk by a hotel waitress. Zhang shot a video of the wriggling worms in the milk.

Urine tests at a hospital in Longyan showed a high level of bacteria in both Zhang and her husband - five times and three times the normal level respectively.

The couple asked for 100,000 yuan (US$16,129) in compensation from Mengniu Dairy Co, but were turned down.

Mengniu said it was not possible that the worms were in its milk.

During the sterilization process the milk would reach temperatures as high as 137 degrees Celsius.

"It is impossible that any insect or worm can live after experiencing the extremely high temperature sterilization and airtight packaging," it said in a statement issued yesterday.

A spokeswoman from Mengniu, surnamed Li, said more investigation was needed over when the package was opened, whether the milk was well preserved and whether the worms were in the hotel's glassware.

Just last month, two men were detained by police after they altered production dates on thousands of cartons of Mengniu milk nearing their expiry date and sold them in some cities in east China Zhejiang Province.

Last December, excessive levels of flavacin M1 - a substance that has been linked to liver cancer - were found in milk products from Mengniu.

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