Anglo-Dutch chemicals giant Unilever has been forced to recall around 1,000 50ml bottles of its Neutral Roll-on deodorant in Belgium after they were found to be contaminated. The recall applies to only one batch, which carries bar code 8710522023471. “During quality control tests, traces of the micro-organism burkholderia were discovered,” announced Unilever spokesman Freek Bracke to journalists.
Although the organism is not thought to be harmful to healthy subjects, it can impact the health of people with weakened resistance or a poor immune system. People with breathing problems - especially sufferers of cystic fibrosis - and those who have been in hospital for a long time are especially at risk. Bracke said that anyone who had bought the product should not use it.
Fortunately for Unilever, the product is not widely available in Belgium and the recall is therefore only modest. “We have asked the shops to remove them from their shelves there are only a limited number in circulation,” he said. He also said that the firm has not as yet not received any complaints. Burkholderia, a genus of proteobacteria that causes glanders in horses, has been considered as having potential as a biological warfare agent.