Tests of Enfamil Newborn show no sign of bacteria

Daylife/AP Photo used by permission
Sad to see – the late Avery Cornett of Lebanon, MO

The manufacturer of the widely used baby formula Enfamil said Sunday that its testing shows the product is free of the bacteria blamed for the death of a Missouri infant.

Mead Johnson Nutrition said two tests of samples of its Enfamil Premium Newborn formula found no sign of the bacteria, known as Cronobacter sakazakii. The samples tested were taken from the same lot as the formula given to the baby boy who died…

The Missouri case prompted retail giant Walmart to pull all cans of the same size and lot number from its shelves last week. Another newborn baby was sickened in Illinois, but is recovering from the infection, according to the state health department.

“These new results reaffirm the testing conducted before the batch was made available to retailers and consumers,” the company said in a written statement on the results. “Based on both sets of tests, Mead Johnson can say with confidence that Enfamil Premium Newborn formula, like every infant formula the company produces, is safe.”

State authorities and the federal Food and Drug Administration and the Centers for Disease Control have been testing similar samples for the bacteria, which the CDC says sickens four to six people a year…

The company said its findings match those of health agencies that have conducted their own tests. Early indications led authorities to suspect a link to powdered infant formula, but state and federal tests found no Cronobacter, the CDC’s Dr. Robert Tauxe said Friday.

“We really don’t have evidence that the two infections are related to each other,” Tauxe told CNN. “Those two cases that occurred this past month may just be a coincidence.

The next circle of testing – which will press the scientists at the CDC much further – will have to involve the range of products also aimed at newborns and often consumed in conjunction with Enfamil Newborn. A thinner more tenuous connection; but, one which must be examined.

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