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Tests Show Enfamil Infant Formula to Be Safe

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) found no evidence of Cronobacter, the bacterial infection responsible for the recent deaths of two infants, in sealed cans of Enfamil Infant Formula, prompting the agencies to issue a joint statement indicating that there was need to recall the baby formula manufactured by Mead Johnson.

Prior to the FDA and CDC investigation, several stores, including Wal-Mart, had pulled Mead Johnson’s Enfamil Infant Formula from store shelves in the latter half of December 2011 following the death of a 10-day-old baby from Missouri and another baby from Florida.  Two other babies, one from Illinois and one from Oklahoma, were also infected with the Cronobacter bacteria, but they recovered.  The four infections prompted the FDA investigation, which included testing factory-sealed containers of the powdered formula mixed with nursery water with the same lot numbers as the opened containers collected from Missouri.  The tests revealed no Cronobacter bacteria in any of the containers.

According to the FDA and the CDC, the Cronobacter bacteria, which is commonly found in the environment, hospitals and homes, can multiply in powdered baby formula after the product is mixed with water.  The FDA has said that it is continuing to investigate the four cases of Cronobacter infections, but that the Enfamil products that were pulled from store shelves are safe for use.

Since powdered infant formula is not sterile, some experts have expressed concerns regarding the lack of adequate methods to remove or kill all bacteria that may find its way into the formula before and during production.  The FDA and CDC has said that Cronobacter-related illnesses are rare and that increased awareness has led to 12 reported cases in 2011, whereas the CDC typically learns of four to six Cronobacter infections each a year.

Steinberg Goodman & Kalish  ( is dedicated to protecting victims and their families.  We handle medical malpractice, product liability, personal injury, wrongful death, auto accidents, professional negligence, birth trauma, and railroad law matters. Contact us at (800) 784-0150 or (312) 782-1386.

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