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Saturday, November 10, 2012

Why I don't buy Nestle Fresh Milk

Whenever moms ask me what fresh milk to give their toddlers, I always say any milk except Nestle.  Our family has started supporting the Nestle boycott and I will be blogging about this.  But for now, if you want to learn more about the Nestle Boycott, read this page.

I received an email today from one of my clients.  This is a personal and first hand account and not something passed through email.  Here's what she has to say:

After consuming the contents of 1 of the cartons, our yaya was surprised that the carton was still a bit heavy. She shook the carton & there was still something inside. Upon opening, we discovered a large foreign object inside. It was white, as wide and as long as the carton and about 3 inches tall, as you can see in the picture below. Upon close inspection, we still were not sure what it was. Seemed like it was plastic, paper, tissue & curdled milk all mushed into 1 piece. It started to grow moulds & smell "sour" after a few hours.

We called the Nestle Philippines customer service, who did not offer any more answers. They just noted the lot number and said a representative will pick it up and subject it to a lab test. The result, they promised, will be out in 4-6 weeks! If it is poisonous, I said, my kids will be in the hospital much sooner than that!

We are still waiting for the lab result but my kids are all fine. For our peace of mind, we still want to know what it is and if it poses a short or long-term harm on my kids. Like any parent, it's natural to be paranoid. Better safe than sorry.

If you drink Nestle fresh milk, please check the lot number. If it falls under the same batch as this one (pictured below) cut open the carton first & inspect before drinking. Won't hurt to be extra careful!

Think twice before buying!
What is this?!!
If you use Nestle milk, check the batch number of your box!
So think twice before you choose Nestle!

Update 13 November 2012:

Here's an update from A, the consumer affected in the story:

When Mrs. A first called the customer service hotline, the representatives did not know how to address her concerns.  She was quite frustrated because all she wanted for Nestle to do was as soon as the foreign material is brought to the lab, someone contacts her and tells her what it is.  This eliminates her concerns of food poisoning, lead poisoning or any form of long-term poisoning to her kids.  The customer service hotline people were more concerned in following protocol than listening to her concern.  As parents, we know how it feels to worry about our kids, especially knowing something may be wrong but not being able to pin point what it exactly is. 

On 12 November 2012, Nestle's Customer Rep (let's call him Mr. Rep) called Mrs. A again.  He explained that the foreign object was curdled milk.  Mr. Rep stated that he checked with their plant in New Zealand and there was no issue with that batch.  Next, he checked the packaging plant and there was also no issue.  Finally, he checked with their quality assurance and stated that there was also no issues on that end.

Mr. Rep claimed that sometimes retailers do not follow their suggested display procedure.  He stated that there are only xx cartons that should be stacked up on display.  If the retailer stacked more than xx number of cartons, the quality of milk is affected. 

Mrs. A doubts this.  And so do I.  How can the quality of milk be affected by the number of cartons stacked?  The milk box is sealed, tight as a drum.  Mrs. A also stated that the milk was only opened the day before consumption and was tightly sealed using Nestle's flip top seal.  The milk was fully consumed the day after opening because the rest of the liquid milk was not spoiled or did not smell sour.  Apparently, Mr. Rep explained that even pasteurized milk can separate and a portion may curdle but the rest of the milk still stays fresh.  Mrs. A still does not understand how this can be a possibility ???

As I explained to Mrs. A, Nestle will do everything to protect itself and will shift the blame to the retailer or consumer.  Mr. Rep also explained to Mrs. A that if the flip top is not sealed properly and water enters the box, it may also cause curdling. But how can the curdled milk become so big.. about 1/4 of the entire milk box volume. Still an unsolved and disturbing mystery.

Tsk, tsk, tsk Nestle!

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