Mead Johnson says Enfamil is safe to use

GLENVIEW, Ill. — Mead Johnson Nutrition affirmed Sunday that its Enfamil Premium Newborn powdered formula is safe for use after several major retailers pulled it from their shelves following the death of a 10-day-old Missouri boy who had been fed the formula.

On Wednesday, Walmart removed the product after the boy contracted a bacterial infection called Cronobacter sakazakii and died, media reports say. Several other retailers, including Kroger, Safeway, Supervalu and Walgreens followed on with the removal.

A testing conducted before the batch in question was put on the market and a "highly unusual" retest showed no presence of the bacteria, Mead Johnson said.

Mead Johnson "can say with confidence that Enfamil Premium Newborn formula, like every infant formula the company produces, is safe," the company said in a statement.

Mead Johnson said the "rigorous" retest reviewed samples of the product "parallel to those being tested by public health officials and following the same methodology.

"The company wanted to reassure consumers — as quickly as possible and based on rigorous scientific data — of the safety and quality of all of its products," Mead Johnson said.

The boy's parents had bought the product at a Walmart store in Lebanon, Mo., reports say.

The company said it has provided the test results to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Both agencies are trying to figure out where the bacteria in the Missouri case came from "and are expected to be testing a variety of possible environmental sources," Mead Johnson said.

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