Third infant reportedly sickened by rare bacteria
Investigators probing a rare infection for a possible link to powdered infant formula have come up empty.
December 28th, 2011
07:27 PM ET

Third infant reportedly sickened by rare bacteria

An Oklahoma infant is the third to be sickened by a rare bacteria that can come from baby formula, according to news reports Wednesday.

The baby is from Tulsa County and has fully recovered from Cronobacter sakazakii, CNN affiliate KYTV reported.

The child was fed a different brand of baby formula than Enfamil, the kind that has been linked in news reports to the death of 10-day-old Avery Cornett in Missouri, according to KYTV.

A newborn in Illinois was also sickened from the rare infection but is recovering, according to the state health officials.

A spokesman for Mead Johnson Nutrition, the company that makes Enfamil, told CNN Wednesday that FDA inspectors were investigating the company’s Michigan factory in the wake of the infections, but he characterized the probe as routine.

“In addition to their routine reviews, FDA inspectors do site visits as part of their follow-up on serious complaints for any food product - for example to collect samples and check batch records.  This is standard operating procedure for them, and we would expect that they have also had inspectors visit production facilities for various other products/items they are testing as part of this investigation,” Chris Perille said in an e-mail statement.

Health officials have been investigating the infections for a possible link to powdered infant formula, but state, federal and company tests have found no Cronobacter. The babies' surroundings - where they live, what they ate - are also being scrutinized.

“Because cronobacter (enterobacter sakazakii) is so commonly present throughout the environment, we expect they (FDA inspectors) are looking at a large number of other possible sources - water, clothing, bedding, preparation and use surfaces, etc. - so they have a lot of testing to complete and, of course, they want to be both thorough and accurate,” Perille said.

The Missouri case prompted retail giant Wal-Mart to pull all cans of the same size and lot number of baby formula from its shelves.

Wal-Mart pulls baby formula in wake of death

On Wednesday, Bloomberg quoted Kieran Jordan, a microbiologist at the Moorepark Food Research Centre of Ireland’s Agriculture and Food Development Authority, as saying that the perils of Cronobacter infections via baby formula have come to light only since the 1980s.

“Once the baby powder is rehydrated, it is a very rich environment for the bacteria to grow,” Jordan told Bloomberg.com.

Cronobacter can cause life-threatening infections in newborns and is fatal in nearly 40% of cases, according to the CDC. Infection survivors can be left with severe neurological problems.

Read more about this story from CNN affiliate KYTV.

Post by:
Filed under: Consumer safety • U.S.
soundoff (107 Responses)
  1. bobcat (in a hat)

    And while I'm on my soap box.
    Why even use these formulas ? What did parents do before the invention of "formulas"?
    You can say what you want, but kids were a lot healthier berfore the advent of "formulas".
    And yes, I know, because that is my generation.
    Okay< I'm down off my box now. Carry on.

    December 28, 2011 at 10:25 pm | Report abuse |
    • allenwoll

      Momma mostly has two spigots for the purpose : Use them !

      December 28, 2011 at 10:37 pm | Report abuse |
    • DontBeStupid

      Formulas had absolutely nothing to do with this. Please educate yourself. You look like a fool.

      December 28, 2011 at 10:46 pm | Report abuse |
    • Mom In Kalamazoo

      An Oklahoma infant is the third to be sickened by a rare bacteria that can come from baby formula, according to news reports Wednesday.

      .. the perils of Cronobacter infections via baby formula have come to light only since the 1980s.

      “Once the baby powder is rehydrated, it is a very rich environment for the bacteria to grow,”

      To "DontBeStupid": This had everything to do with formula. Read the quotes I pulled out from the article. Educate yourself. Formula puts a baby at risk for a very long list of life threatening illnesses. In places where formula is not available, mothers have no problems nursing their babies. An intelligent, educated mother would not expose her child to the risks associated with formula.

      December 28, 2011 at 11:15 pm | Report abuse |
    • Rachel

      Breast feeding isn't always possible. I am the mother of three babies all of whom were preemies, and as much as I tried and they tried to nurse I just never produced enough milk. I hired professional lactation specialists etc. I never produced enough milk to keep them fed. After the third baby, my doctors finally realized that the medication I have to take intervenes with lactating. I could stop the meds, but it would put my life at jeopardy - so I chose to formula feed my babies to keep them fed and keep me alive.

      December 28, 2011 at 11:22 pm | Report abuse |
    • Marc in Virginia

      How nice for you, Mom in Kalamazoo, that breastfeeding wasn't a problem. My wife tried her best to breastfeed our son. We had 4 lactation consultants come in who advised we try everything under the sun to help supplement (incl. pumping 8x/day). His birth weight dropped from 8lbs to 7lbs in less than a week. He had a UTI as well about a month or so later. Finally, we were told by our pediatrician and birth center here in DC that formula was the best option. She has an MBA and works in IT. It's incredibly insulting that you would say she isn't "an intelligent, educated mother" who exposes her child to the risks associated with formula. Please think before you post so callously.

      December 28, 2011 at 11:27 pm | Report abuse |
    • DontBeStupid

      Read your quotes. Nothing in the article said it came from the formula. It said that it "could" come from the formula.

      Again, don't be stupid.

      December 28, 2011 at 11:30 pm | Report abuse |
    • Ugh

      To "Mom In Kallamazoo": Do you completely lack reading comprehension skills? It plainly says that it doesn't come from formula. I can't express how sad it is that you've spawned. Your children will likely be just as stupid as you are, and for that I am truly sorry.

      December 28, 2011 at 11:43 pm | Report abuse |
    • A Mom

      to Mom in Kalamazoo -Here's a quote from the article:

      “Because cronobacter (enterobacter sakazakii) is so commonly present throughout the environment, we expect they (FDA inspectors) are looking at a large number of other possible sources – water, clothing, bedding, preparation and use surfaces, etc. – so they have a lot of testing to complete and, of course, they want to be both thorough and accurate,” Perille said.

      Yes, warm formula is a rich environemt for bacterial growth, but that doesn't mean the formula was contaminated to begin with.

      In parts of the world where mothers don't have access to infant formula, if a woman is unable to nurse her baby or find another woman willing to nurse for her, her baby will probably starve!

      I'm am truly glad you were able to breastfeed your children. Many women who want to are unable for medical reasons. Instead of passing judgment I encourage you learn to live and let live.

      December 28, 2011 at 11:54 pm | Report abuse |
    • Janet

      I agree. Not only is it much better for the baby and mother, it is much cheaper.

      December 29, 2011 at 12:30 am | Report abuse |
    • Melissa

      Yeah, women breastfed infants for centuries. Those that couldn't were forced to find alternatives. Do you want to use YOUR "spigots" to fed another woman's child?

      December 29, 2011 at 1:06 am | Report abuse |
    • Jeff

      @bobcat. You, my friend, are a moron. There are many women who do not have the ability to produce enough milk. You ask, "what did parents do before formula?" Well, some of them saw the child die from malnutrition. Get a clue before you fall off your soapbox.

      December 29, 2011 at 1:15 am | Report abuse |
  2. DontBeStupid

    From the article:
    "The child was fed a different brand of baby formula than Enfamil, the kind that has been linked in news reports to the death of 10-day-old Avery Cornett in Missouri, according to KYTV."

    If you blame this on Enfamil, you should probably go ahead and hire someone to stomp on your balls for a little while. It'll save humanity in general a lot of trouble in the long run.

    December 28, 2011 at 10:46 pm | Report abuse |
  3. banasy©

    @bciah:

    I know my sister had the evaporated milk thing; I remember my mom mixing it up for her.
    I don't remember what I had.

    allenwoll: what about adoptive parents? What about couples like Kevin and his wife, who couldn't breastfeed?
    What should they do? Knock of their neighbors door?

    I'm neighborly, but come ON!

    December 28, 2011 at 10:47 pm | Report abuse |
  4. mom717

    keep in mind that some women are simply not able to breastfeed (as much as they want to and/or try) and need to supplement or use formula entirely

    December 28, 2011 at 10:47 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Rhonda Braithwaite

    MSG isn't a banned substance, for God's sake. Some people want it to be banned, and it's not used in some preps for very young children, (like formula), but it is not a banned substance.Way to spread lies on the internet.Some idiots will believe it, just because they read it on the internet. Moron.

    December 28, 2011 at 10:59 pm | Report abuse |
  6. bobcat (in a hat)

    2

    @DontBeStupid

    Will you show me one area in either of my posts that I blamed it on the formula. I simply pointed out the old way of doing this. Looks like you made yourself look stupid for by paying attention.

    2

    December 28, 2011 at 11:00 pm | Report abuse |
    • bobcat (in a hat)

      by not paying attention.

      December 28, 2011 at 11:01 pm | Report abuse |
    • DontBeStupid

      So you got up on your soapbox about formula for a completely unrelated, irrelevant reason?

      Again, don't be stupid. You look like an utter moron.

      December 28, 2011 at 11:32 pm | Report abuse |
    • bobcat (in a hat)

      @DontBeStupid
      You really are an idiot. You do know that, don't you ?

      December 28, 2011 at 11:55 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Rhonda Braithwaite

    I think he was talking to BOB, bobcat.

    December 28, 2011 at 11:05 pm | Report abuse |
  8. bobcat (in a hat)

    @Rhonda

    Maybe so, but he posted on my reply button, so I had to assume.

    December 28, 2011 at 11:10 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Rhonda Braithwaite

    Ah, sorry. I'm not on a computer, I can't see.

    December 28, 2011 at 11:12 pm | Report abuse |
  10. cindy

    Take your spawn to Target, where a stupid breeder cow will breastfeed it for you.

    December 28, 2011 at 11:31 pm | Report abuse |
  11. RUFFNUTT (kcmo resident and smoker of fine purple kush)

    MOMMA'S MILK RULES!!!! ... AND IT TASTE GOOD

    December 28, 2011 at 11:35 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Paul

    Breast feeding is infinitely more healthy physically and psychologically anyways. Formula should only be used once in a while, not as a single food source for an infant. Whoever could think that formula as the main diet is really comparable to mother's milk is delusional.

    December 29, 2011 at 1:19 am | Report abuse |
  13. chrissy

    @ Jeff, what bobcat said in his first post about parents feeding infants prior to formula WAS THEY USED PET MILK (otherwise known as evaporated milk) AND CARO SYRUP!!!! Now with all due respect i believe you OWE him an apology!

    December 29, 2011 at 1:43 am | Report abuse |
  14. screen2011

    There is nothing wrong with formula feeding your baby. The majority of people I know including myself were formula fed, perfectly healthy and well adjusted. My wife couldn't produce enough milk (yes she saw professionals) so my baby was formula fed and he is very healthy, seldom sick, loving smart kid.

    December 29, 2011 at 2:18 am | Report abuse |
  15. AJ

    So, all you anti-regulation people out there, what about this one? Still want to get rid of all regulations? Seems like an area that regulations are needed.

    December 29, 2011 at 2:53 am | Report abuse |
    • HomeyDontPlayDat

      I'm pretty sure "don't kill babies" is illegal, even if it isn't officially regulated.

      December 29, 2011 at 3:35 am | Report abuse |
    • Jason b.

      The first thing they teach you in statistics class is: correlation does not equal causation. Tragic as the loss of any child is we cannot blindly point fingers without evidence. Just because the boy ate the formula and got sick doesn't mean the formula is to blame. Regulations could not have prevented this death. Note that the formula retain did not have the bacteria. This strongly suggesets that the formula was never contaminated. No I do not work for a baby formula company

      December 29, 2011 at 3:50 am | Report abuse |
    • gager

      It is regulated and the baby still died. Regulations don't work.

      December 29, 2011 at 4:34 am | Report abuse |
    • Ines

      To Jason B, you are correct. However, this is actually the second outbreak of abay formula contamination associated with this same organism. The first was several years ago. Still does not prove causation, but ups the likelihood factor quite a bit.

      December 29, 2011 at 9:23 am | Report abuse |
    • Ines

      http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/mm5114a1.htm

      CDC report of previous outbreak

      December 29, 2011 at 9:26 am | Report abuse |
    • patrick

      Luckily conservatives haven't been able to remove food safety regulations. Yet.

      December 29, 2011 at 10:24 am | Report abuse |
1 2 3 4