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NZ's Fonterra suspends two managers ahead of inquiry

A Fonterra milk tanker arrives to Fonterra's Te Rapa plant near Hamilton August 6, 2013. REUTERS/Nigel Marple
A Fonterra milk tanker arrives to Fonterra's Te Rapa plant near Hamilton August 6, 2013. REUTERS/Nigel Marple

WELLINGTON (Reuters) - New Zealand dairy giant Fonterra said on Friday it had put two senior managers on leave pending an inquiry into contaminated products.

The company has two inquiries into how whey protein concentrate came to be contaminated with a bacteria that can cause botulism and then sold to customers in March.

"We are moving quickly and establishing key facts about what has happened and, as they emerge, we are taking appropriate action," said Fonterra chief executive Theo Spierings in a statement.

He said placing the two unnamed managers on leave did not pre-empt the findings of the inquiries.

Earlier this week the managing director of the company's milk products business resigned.

(Reporting by Gyles Beckford; Editing by Matt Driskill)

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