The death of an infant has prompted Wal-Mart to pull 12.5-ounce cans of Enfamil Newborn infant formula powder from the shelves of 3,000 stores across the country. According to a report from MSNBC, Wal-Mart took the action as a precautionary measure while health officials investigate Sunday’s death of a 10-day-old Missouri child who succumbed to a suspected bacterial infection.
Gena Terlizzi, spokeswoman for the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services, told MSNBC that samples of the formula given to the baby 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.
According to manufacturer Mead Johnson Nutrition, its records showed the lot of Enfamil powder tested negative for the bacterium that killed the baby before it was shipped.
The child, Avery Cornett, was taken to St. John’s Hospital in Lebanon, Missouri, late last week after appearing lethargic and apparently suffering a stomach ache. He was transferred to St. John’s Hospital-Springfield after tests showed that he had contracted Cronobacter sakazakii, a rare bacterial infection, MSNBC said. He died Sunday after being removed from life support.
His parents had been feeding him Enfamil Newborn powder purchased at a Lebanon Wal-Mart.
No government recall has been issued for the baby formula, and if the samples sent to the CDC and FDA turn up negative for the bacterium, it could return to Wal-Mart shelves, MSNBC said. However, Wal-Mart has offered customers who bought the formula the option of returning the cans for a refund or exchange.
In addition to the formula, investigators are looking at the water that was used to prepare it, as well as anything else Avery may have ingested before his death.