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Wal-Mart recalls powdered infant formula

December 22, 2011|By Shari Roan, Los Angeles Times / For the Booster Shots blog
  • A powdered infant formula may be the cause of a rare bacterial death in a Missouri newborn.
A powdered infant formula may be the cause of a rare bacterial death in a Missouri… (Don Barletti / Los Angeles…)

Wal-Mart is recalling a single batch of the powdered infant formula Enfamil Newborn, sold in 12.5-ounce cans, as a precaution after a Missouri infant died of a rare bacterial infection.

The 10-day-old Lebanon, Mo., baby died Sunday of Cronobacter sakazakii, which can come from powdered infant formula. The source of the infant's infection is still unclear, but Wal-Mart choose to remove the batch with the lot number ZP1K7G from its 3,000 stores nationwide as a precaution. The baby's family purchased the formula at Wal-Mart.

Cases of C. sakazakii have been linked to powdered infant formula in the past. However, in a statement issued this morning to the Los Angeles Times, Mead Johnson officials said the source of the infant's infection remains unclear and that infant formulas are tested for the bacteria prior to shipping.

"We are aware of the reported infant death in Lebanon, Missouri, and our hearts go out to the child’s family for their tragic loss," said Chris Perille, vice president, corporate communications & public affairs at Mead Johnson Nutrition.

"We have been informed by health authorities that the infant tested positive for Cronobacter, which is a microorganism found throughout the environment and sometimes implicated in rare but serious illnesses in newborn babies.

"In the case of such a serious illness or death, an exhaustive investigation is undertaken by officials.  Since Cronobacter in commonly present in the environment, they will be examining a range of possible environmental sources and engaging in sampling and testing to try to identify the cause.  Among numerous things being tested are any formula consumed -- which included Enfamil Newborn -- the water used to prepare it, etc."

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