Rolaids Softchews Named in Latest Johnson & Johnson Recall

<"">Rolaids Softchews are the latest products made by Johnson & Johnson’s McNeil Consumer Healthcare unit to be named in a recall. According to a McNeil statement, the Rolaids Softchews recall follows consumer reports of foreign materials in the product, including metal and wood particles.

This year, McNeil has issued more than a half dozen recalls, including an April action that has the distinction of being the largest <"">recall of children’s medicine in history. That recall involved 136 million bottles and 40 varieties of Tylenol, Motrin, Zyrtec and Benadryl. Many of the recalled products were made at McNeil’s Fort Washington, Pennsylvania facility. That facility was temporarily closed earlier this year because of quality issues. The plant is expected to stay closed well into next year, and 75 percent of its workforce has been laid off.

As The New York Times points out, other Johnson & Johnson units have experienced problems this year, as well. In August, for example, the DePuy Orthopaedics unit recalled two kinds of hip implants because of a high number of premature failures. And last week, Johnson & Johnson expanded an overseas recall of 1 Day Acuvue TruEye Contact Lenses over issues that prompted complaints of stinging eyes.

This latest recall involves all lots – 13 million packages – of Rolaids Extra Strength Softchews, Rolaids Extra Strength plus Gas Softchews, and Rolaids Multi-Symptom plus Anti-Gas Softchews distributed in the US. McNeil has also suspended the manufacture of these products and will not restart production until corrective actions have been implemented. A full list of the recalled products is available here.

Consumers who purchased the recalled products should contact McNeil Consumer Healthcare, either at or by calling 1-888-222-6036 about receiving a refund.

McNeil asserts that the foreign materials that prompted the Rolaids Softchews recall were potentially introduced into the product during the manufacturing process at an unnamed third party manufacturer. The company also maintains that the risk of serious adverse health consequences from the Rolaids Softchews is remote.

As we’ve reported in the past, the string of Johnson & Johnson recalls has spawned several investigations of the drug company, including a probe being undertaken by the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, which has already held two hearings on the matter. According to The New York Times, a spokesman for the committee chairman-designate, Representative Darrell Issa, Republican of California said in a statement that the new Rolaids recall “reinforces the committee’s ongoing investigation surrounding the safety protocols in place at J.& J.’s facilities and how the FDA (Food & Drug Administration) is managing food and drug safety.”

Earlier this year, the FDA said its office of criminal investigations had opened an inquiry into the company’s conduct surrounding the recent recalls.

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