Mead Johnson Nutrition Company maker of Enfamil Newborn powder had a product pulled from over 3,000 Wal-Mart stores after a baby died from a bacterial infection called Cronobacter. With only about 50 cases of Cronobacter Sakazakii bacteria reported in the last 40 years, the infection is rare.
Mead Johnson Nutrition is reported to have tested the foruma in the pre-sale stage, and again after the reported death Mead Johnson reported it had confirmed testing was done and the results where negative.
The bactria is found in many places so the pulling of the formula may be more of a knee jerk reaction than and actual concern the baby food is bad. This is of course absent material knowledge by Wal-Mart or Mead Johnson that the product is bad and they need to pull it.
Its unclear if the formula has anything to do with the death of the child, but the damage to the brand is likely to stick. Even if the company is cleared it will cost millions to regain confidence. If the company is found to have a problem in the formula the brand is not likely to ever recover.
Cronobacter sakazakii is a bacterium that causes a rare but often fatal infection of the bloodstream and central nervous system. Infants with weakened immune systems, particularly premature infants, are most likely to contract an Cronobacter infection, although the bacteria have caused illnesses in all age groups.
Cronobacter sakazakii in Infant Formula
Most cases of Cronobacter sakazakii come from powdered infant formula contaminated with the bacterium. However, this type of infection is still very rare. High temperatures reached in preparing the formula usually kill the bacteria, but they are known to survive even after preparation.
Powdered infant formula is most likely contaminated after production, since the pasteurization process is normally adequate to kill Cronobacter sakazakii bacteria. However, if the powder is produced using the dry blending process, and not heated, Cronobacter bacteria can survive in the formula.