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Baby Formula Recalled

Mar 29, 2002 | AP

Mead Johnson Nutritionals is recalling a batch of specialty formula used for babies and others with rare digestive diseases after an infant who was tube-fed the formula died of a rare infection.

The formula is called Portagen. It is used mainly by hospitals but some families may use it at home under a doctor's instructions.

Cans from the recalled batch bear the code BMC17 embossed on the bottom. That batch contained 17,000 cans shipped nationwide in February 2001, but they do not expire until January 2003.

Do not use formula from that batch, warned Mead Johnson.

The recall was sparked by the death last April of a premature infant who became ill with a rare form of meningitis called Enterobacter sakazakii after being tube-fed formula from that batch.

Federal disease investigators concluded the formula was the likely culprit and alerted the Food and Drug Administration (news - web sites), prompting Friday's voluntary recall by Mead Johnson, said FDA special nutrition chief Christine Taylor.

Portagen is for infants, toddlers and even adults with rare digestive diseases that prevent them from digesting or absorbing fats. Taylor said this form of meningitis mainly strikes medically fragile babies, beginning with vague symptoms like feeding difficulty and fever.

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