Wal-Mart pulls formula after baby dies in Missouri

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December 22nd, 2011 by Ric Hanson

LEBANON, Mo. (AP) — Wal-Mart has pulled a batch of powdered infant formula from more than 3,000 of its stores nationwide after a newborn Missouri boy who was fed the formula died from what preliminary tests indicate was a rare bacterial infection, the retailer said. The government has not ordered a recall of the 12.5-ounce cans of Enfamil Newborn powder with the lot number ZP1K7G. Manufacturer Mead Johnson Nutrition said its records showed the lot tested negative for the bacterium before it was shipped.

Wal-Mart spokeswoman Dianna Gee said Wednesday that the company decided to pull the lot “out of an abundance of caution” while health officials investigate Sunday’s death of 10-day-old Avery Cornett. The product could go back on shelves depending on the outcome of the investigation, but customers who bought the cans have the option of returning them for a refund or exchange, Gee said. Gena Terlizzi, spokeswoman for the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services, said Wednesday that samples of the formula given to Avery were sent to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for testing. “At this point it has not been determined whether the illness is linked to the formula or an outside source,” Terlizzi said in a statement.