Nov. 3, 2002 – Baby formula products that are being voluntarily recalled by the manufacturer have been found on the shelves of local Kmart stores, where they are sold under the America's Store brand label Little Ones.
The products were recalled because bacteria were found in batches produced between July and September of this year. They include two types of powdered infant formula, soy and milk based.
The Food and Drug Administration announced on Friday that Wyeth Nutrition was recalling more than a million cans of the powdered infant formula because of a bacterium found in samples. The products manufactured by Wyeth are sold under various store brands including Baby Basics, CVS, Home Best, Healthy Baby, Kozy Kids, Hill Country Fare, HEB, Little Ones, Parent's Choice, Safeway Select and Walgreen's.
One St. Thomas consumer reported having purchased two cans of the soy formula — "large cans with 06 28 05 printed on the base" — at Kmart.
The recalled cans have expiration dates ranging from July 28, 2005, through Sept. 28, 2005, stamped on the bottom. They can also be identified by a six-digit character embossed on the bottom of the cans. The first four characters fall in three alpha-numeric ranges, the FDA's Web site states: K12N through K19N, L07N through L30N, and N03N through N25N.
The detected bacterium, Enterobacter sakazakii, is "a foodborne pathogen that can in rare cases cause sepsis (bacteria in the blood), meningitis (inflammation of the lining of the brain), or necrotizing enterocolitis (severe intestinal infection) in newborn infants, particularly premature infants or other infants with weakened immune systems," according to the Web site. However, as of Nov.1, "No illnesses have been reported to date in connection with this contamination," the Web site states.
About 1.5 million cans of the formula were distributed nationwide in retail stores, the FDA said.
Kmart's Tutu Park Mall store manager, Jim Sauser, reached Sunday night at his home, said he was not aware of the recall and could not say if the formula products had been pulled from the shelves. "As of when I left work Friday," he said, "I had not received any e-mail" from the company's corporate headquarters about the recall. He said he would "follow up first thing Monday."
Efforts to reach Andrew Rutnik, commissioner of Licensing and Consumer Affairs, on Sunday night were unsuccessful.
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