Wal-Mart Pulls Baby Formula After Fatality

Walmart is recalling a single batch of Enfamil Newborn powdered infant formula following the death of a 10-day-old Lebanon, Mo., infant from a rare bacterial infection, according to published reports.

Although the origin of the infant’s infection is still unknown, the Bentonville, Ark.-based mega-retailer decided to err on the side of caution by removing the batch of 12.5-ounce cans with the lot number ZP1K7G from its stores across the United States.

Avery Cornett died Sunday of Cronobacter sakazakii, which has been linked to powdered infant formula  in the past. The baby’s family repoertedly bought the formula at a local Walmart.

The Missouri Department of Health said this week that preliminary tests showed another infant was infected with the same bacteria within the past month, but recovered. The department didn’t identify the formula brand consumed by the surviving baby.

On behalf of Glenview, Ill.-based Mead Johnson Nutrition, maker of Enfamil, Chris Perille, the company’s VP of corporate communications and public affairs, expressed condolences to the infant’s family members for their loss.

According to Perille, the manufacturer’s infant formulas undergo rigorous testing for the bacteria before being shipped. “In the case of such a serious illness or death, an exhaustive investigation is undertaken by officials,” he explained in a statement sent to Progressive Grocer. “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.”

Perille added that the company was “working with the health authorities to support their efforts to identify the source or cause of this infant’s infection.”

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