Retailers pull infant formula off shelves ahead of any possible recall

Infant's death being investigated; no link to Mead Johnson product yet determined

GLENVIEW, Ill. — So far two retailers — Supervalu and Walmart — have pulled lots of Emfamil Premium Newborn powdered formula before any recall has been issued after learning of an infant's death this past weekend, according to published reports.

On Thursday, Mead Johnson responded with the following statement: "Our company recently became aware of an infant’s death in Missouri. This infant tested positive for Cronobacter, which is a microorganism commonly found in the environment and sometimes implicated in rare but serious illnesses in newborn babies. We were informed that the infant had been fed one of our products."

The FDA has not requested any recall, though the agency is testing the batch of formula consumed by the child with the assistance of Mead Johnson.  "All of our finished infant powdered products — including this batch — are tested for Cronobacter (Enterobacter sakazakii) prior to shipment. If an ingredient or a batch of powdered infant formula product is found to contain Cronobacter, it is rejected and not distributed," Mead Johnson stated.

"The batch of the product used by the child’s family did not show the presence of the bacteria when it was produced and packaged, and that has recently been reconfirmed from our batch records." 

The product is Enfamil PREMIUM Newborn 12.5-oz. powder with number ZP1K7G on the bottom of the can.

"We recognize that recent media stories may cause confusion and we apologize for that," the company added. "We are working with health authorities to support their efforts to identify the source or cause of the infant’s infection.  All the employees at Mead Johnson Nutrition wish to extend our heartfelt sympathy to the family."


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