As Missouri public health officials investigate the death of a 10-day-old infant who may have succumbed to a rare Cronobacter sakazakii (C. sakazakii) infection, Walmart said it is recalling a single batch of Enfamil powdered infant formula from its stores as a cautionary measure.

Walmart announced that it was removing 12.5-ounce cans Enfamil Newborn powder with lot number ZP1K7G from 3,000 stores in 49 states.

It’s not clear if other retailers also may have powdered formula from that same lot on their shelves. 

According to the Lebanon Daily Record, baby Avery Cornett died Sunday after he was removed from life support. The preliminary diagnosis was an infection with the bacterium Cronobacter sakazakii (C. sakazakii, formerly called Enterobacter sakazakii) a rare cause of bloodstream and central nervous system infections in infants. The fatality rate among infected newborns has been reported to be as high as 33 percent.

What caused the Missouri baby’s infection is yet unknown, but there has been compelling evidence in other cases of C. sakazakii  that milk-based powdered infant formulas served as the source. World Health Organization guidelines advise that parents should be aware “that powdered infant formula is not a sterile product and may be contaminated.”  

Mead Johnson, manufacturer of Enfamil, said it is working with health authorities to identify the source of the Lebanon, MO, baby’s infection. A spokesperson told local reporters that the company tests ingredients and finished powdered infant formula products for C. sakazakii, and that the batch used by the child’s family tested negative for the bacterium when it was produced and packaged.

Gena Terlizzi, with the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services, told local media in a statement that “at this point it has not been determined whether the bacteria is linked to the formula or an outside source.” The Laclede County Health Department sent the Enfamil newborn formula, water used to mix the formula and another liquid formula to the CDC and FDA labs. Test results are pending.

Walmart said concerned customers can return the recalled powdered formula from lot number ZP1K7G for a refund, or call 1-800-BABY-123 for more information.

  • This is yet another reason to breastfeed! How many children must die or suffer the long-term effects of formula before warnings are printed on the label? Or, better yet, tax incentives put in place to encourage breastfeeding and put the health care cost burdens on the ones who choose to feed their babies with poison!


    Not all women can breastfeed so a little compassion would be nice.

  • Lisa

    Really Laila? How ignorant. Did you stop to think that some mothers have no other choice than to use formula, such as if they have certain medical conditions and can’t breast feed? What about the mothers that don’t produce enough milk and have to supplement with formula? There’s a million reasons why people use formula instead of breastmilk, and to place burden on the parents who lost their sweet newborn by giving him “poison” is ignorant, thoughtless and cruel. How’s the view from up there, Miss High and Mighty???

  • andy

    Its interesting how quickly fault is ascribed either to the mother or to the entire use of powdered formula. Of course its great to breastfeed, and of course (uncontaminated)powdered formula is a useful product. The fault is properly that of the powdered infant formula industry for deliberately failing to inform and warn parents and doctors of the rare, but hugely consequential, risk posed by powdered formula, which is not sterile. The industry knows it cannot completely eliminate the bacteria from its product, but obviously fights all efforts to inform consumers of that. Most doctors, and even pediatricians, are still not aware of the risk posed by sakazakii in formula. Parents and doctors should at least make a conscious and informed choice to use the product or not. Perhaps having Wal-Mart involved will raise the level of awareness of the problem.

  • Sheena

    I TRIED TO BREAST FEED FOR 2 MONTHS. YOU KNOW HOW MUCH CAME OUT? 24OZ TOTAL. So let me see… should I just have starved my baby because my body couldn’t make milk? Or should I have had someone else breastfeed him who some 5 years later, comes to find that they had a previously undetectable disease and now my kid has it? I had 8 lactation nurses try to help me produce and they were the ones to tell me it was time to stop. We all KNOW the benefits of breast feeding. And I desperately wanted to breastfeed and couldn’t.
    I was adopted and formula fed. I am healthier then most people I know and I am sure a majority of them were breastfed.
    I agree with Lisa. Every bit of what you posted was ignorant, thoughtless and cruel.

  • Mary

    Bloomberg TV (BITV) cable news just reported on their news crawl that a second infant may be sick from Enfamil.

  • Brenda

    I am a breastfeeding/formula feeding mother and comments like Laila’s make my blood boil! One of my cousins can not breastfeed because one of the medications she takes passes through breast milk and “may” harm the baby. She can not live with out the medicine but does not even want to take a chance in harming her baby…It’s idiots like Laila that served guilt trip after guilt trip while not fully understanding the situation…Hopefully her breastfed child will turn out to be smarter and more understanding than her.

  • momofasurvivor

    My son got this same bacteria but from another companies PIF. So its a real danger and not to be taken lightly. He has severe quad cp and severe epilepsy from the infection which was spinal meningitis. This problem is on the rise. More cases in the past year than ever I think. Its a gamble that is not worth taking when a simple prevention is avaliable. That is liquid formula. It is heat pasteurized and has never been known to be cinntaninated.