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Wyeth Recalls Infant Formula

Nov 1, 2002 | AP

Wyeth Nutrition is recalling nearly 1 million cans of powdered infant formula sold under various store brands because of a bacterium found in samples taken at a Vermont manufacturing plant.

The brands being recalled include: Baby Basics, CVS, Home Best, Healthy Baby, Kozy Kids, Hill Country Fare, HEB, Little Ones, Parent's Choice, Safeway Select and Walgreen's.

The cans have expiration dates ranging from July 28, 2005, to Sept. 28, 2005, stamped on the bottom. The products were made between July 12 and Sept. 25.

The decision to recall the milk- and soy-based products, which were distributed nationwide, comes after discussions with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

Sample products tested at the plant in Georgia, Vt., found low levels of Enterobacter sakazakii (E. sakazakii), a bacterium commonly found in the environment.

"We're recalling the product as a precaution — just to ensure that no one is exposed to it," said Wyeth spokesman Doug Petkus.

He said nearly 1 million of the cans had made it into distribution, and that another 500,000 were still at the company.

Consumers can return the cans to the place of purchase. They also may call 888-526-5376 for information.

No illnesses have been reported in anyone who ingested the Wyeth infant formula. While the risk is low, the bacterium can cause serious conditions, especially in high-risk infants, the company said.

There have been very rare cases of infections associated with the bacterium, most in premature infants or those with weakened immune systems, according to scientific literature.

In April, the FDA advised health care providers that such high-risk infants should be given liquid formula, which is commercially sterile, not the powdered kind subject to the recall.

Wyeth Nutrition is a subsidiary of Wyeth, the Madison, N.J.-based pharmaceutical company.

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