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Health & Baby

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Metal in Infant Formula Prompts Recall

Bad Lot of Gentlease Powdered Infant Formula Removed From Shelves
WebMD Health News
Reviewed by Louise Chang, MD

Feb. 22, 2006 -- A batch of Gentlease powdered infant formula is being recalled due to metal particles in a portion of that batch of formula.

The recall only applies to 24-ounce cans with the batch code BMJ19 on the bottom of the can, states a news release from the formula's maker, Mead Johnson Nutritionals.

The cans have a "use by" date of July 1, 2007, states an FDA news release. The lot number and "use by" date are embossed on the bottom of the cans, with the "use by" date written as "1 Jul 07," states the FDA.

Gentlease is part of the Enfamil family of formulas, but no other batches or formulas are involved in the recall. A portion of the batch was found to contain metal particles of up to 2.7 millimeters in size. The incident is "highly unusual," the FDA states, in a news release. The FDA and Mead Johnson are investigating how the metal particles got into the formula.

Meanwhile, consumers should check the formula's cans and not use the recalled formula, state Mead Johnson and the FDA, in news releases.

No Injuries Reported

So far, no illnesses have been reported from the recalled formula, according to Mead Johnson Nutritionals and the FDA. However, in the rare instance that a baby inhaled the recalled formula into their lungs, the metal particles could present a serious risk to the baby's respiratory system and throat.

Any injuries associated with this problem would likely show up within three to four hours, state Mead Johnson Nutritionals and the FDA. Symptoms could vary, depending on whether there is damage to the throat or lungs.

Throat damage may include coughing, difficulty swallowing, or difficulty breathing. Similarly, lung damage could include coughing and difficulty breathing, states the FDA.

FDA's Advice

People who may have fed this lot of Gentlease to a baby and have any concerns about the baby's health should contact the baby's doctor for guidance, states the FDA.

Consumers who have a can of the recalled batch of Gentlease powdered infant formula should not use the product and should contact Mead Johnson Nutritionals at 888-587-7275 immediately.

More than 41,000 24-ounce cans being recalled were distributed through many major stores nationwide, beginning on Dec. 16, 2005. The FDA advises consumers to concentrate on the can's code, not the place of purchase, to check for the recalled batch of formula. Mead Johnson Nutritionals asks that consumers not try to return the recalled formulas to stores where the formula was purchased.

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