Sydney Mother Discovers Dead Lizard in Leading Milk Formula, Calls for Product Recall

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A woman takes her baby out for a stroll along the beach in La Jolla, California May 12, 2014.  REUTERS/Mike Blake
A woman takes her baby out for a stroll along the beach in La Jolla, California May 12, 2014. REUTERS/Mike Blake Reuters

A mother from Sydney was shocked to find a lizard when she opened a can of baby formula. Arilina Castanares, a 30-year-old mother from a suburb in Sydney, has called on leading baby formula brand to issue a recall.

The mother of two children discovered the dead lizard inside a tin of S-26 Original Process formula on July 11. Castanares said there was a "funny smell" when she opened the tin. She initially saw something sticking up and thought it was a tail.  She pulled it up and was surprised to find a "gecko."

She squealed and dropped the dead creature after realising what it was. Reports said Castanares called the product's hotline number "Careline" immediately to inform the milk company about the dead lizard inside the milk.

A spokesperson instructed Castanares to return the tin with the dead lizard to the company's head office, Aspen,Australia. She was informed that her case will be investigated but was advised to wait up to two months for the results.

Castanares said the spokesperson was " very casual" about the matter. She was told to return the product and it will be sent overseas for an investigation for 6-8 weeks.

The Sydney mother said the response was "unacceptable" because babies could be at risk. She told media no risks should be taken when it comes to children. Castanares wants the company to recall the product or "at least that batch."

Aside from calling the hotline, she sent an email to the milk's parent company, Aspen Australia, including photos of the dead lizard inside the milk can and the batch number. However, she received no response from the company.

After posting photos of the dead lizard on a Facebook page for Sydney mothers and the milk brand's page, Castanares began receiving queries from other concerned mothers.  She said some parents were "freaking out over it."  She said she was getting emails and messages from mothers who have bought the same milk formula and batch number.

After buying the S-26 Original Process milk for two years, Castanares said she would never buy the product again.  Her experience has turned her off from buying the formula. She switched and had her daughter drink cow's milk since the incident.

According to reports, the S-26 Original Process formula is manufactured and packaged in Singapore, which raises suspicion that the dead lizard came from overseas.  

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