On December 22, 2011, Walmart removed a batch of powdered Enfamil infant formula from more than 3,000 of its stores nationwide following the death of a newborn boy in Missouri, reported the Associated Press. No government recall had been ordered at the time.
The boy, Avery Cornett, became seriously ill with a suspected bacterial infection and died after being taken off life support on Sunday at just 10 days old, reported the Lebanon Daily Record. After appearing lethargic and suffering from what seemed to be symptoms of a stomachache, he was taken to St. John’s Hospital-Lebanon, where preliminary tests showed that he had contracted a rare bacterium, Cronobacter sakazakii, which can come from powdered infant formula contaminated with it. He had been fed Enfamil Newborn powdered formula from a 12.5 ounce can with the lot number ZP1K7G, purchased at a Walmart in Lebanon, Missouri.
Following Avery’s death, the Lebanon Walmart pulled the formula from its shelves; Walmart’s corporate offices subsequently moved to pull it from shelves nationwide while further investigation was underway.
Mead Johnson Nutrition, the company that makes Enfamil, said that that particular batch of formula had tested negative for the bacterium before it was shipped to stores. Samples of the formula given to Avery were sent to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Public health investigators also examined environmental factors, including the water used to prepare the formula and anything else Avery may have ingested. As of December 31, 2011, the CDC and FDA concluded their investigation, finding no link between Enfamil infant formula and the child's death. The CDC found the Cronobacter bacteria in the family's home.
Parents with questions about the formula can call Mead Johnson Nutrition at 800-BABY-123.