According to a company spokesman, U.S. health inspectors visited an Enfamil baby formula factory run by Mead Johnson Nutrition Co. as part of an investigation into the cause of bacterial infections that killed one infant and have made another ill. A full investigation is expected to take several weeks, but the company expects some initial results could be released in just a few days.
The investigation came after a 10-day-old infant in Missouri died after testing positive for Cronobacter, a bacterium that has sometimes been linked to rare illnesses in newborns and has been found in milk-based powdered baby formula. So far no link has been established between any specific formula and the infant death. Nonetheless, retailers such as Walmart have pulled a certain lot of 12.5-ounce cans of Enfamil Newborn from store shelves after the death of the infant.
Investigators visited two separate facilities, one in Michigan where the product was manufactured and one in Indiana where some records were kept. The investigation, a coordinated effort by the Federal Drug Administration and the Centers for Disease Control, involves testing samples of the baby formula, distilled water and the environment to which the babies who have been exposed. Cronobacter infections are not regularly reported to the CDC, and the agency officials say they on average receive four to six reported cases a year.
It is good to see federal regulators moving quickly on what will hopefully be an isolated incident of illness and if not, then swift action will mitigate the extent of the contamination. But with illnesses reported in Missouri, Illinois and Oklahoma, the possibility remains that the recall and investigations continue.
If you or a loved one believes your child has been exposed to the Cronobacter bacteria, contact the attorneys at Lord & Faris as you may have rights at risk.
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