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Mead Johnson says retesting shows Enfamil is safe

/ Source: Reuters

Mead Johnson said on Sunday that a new round of testing of samples of its Enfamil baby formula, under investigation by health officials, showed that the product was safe.

The company said in a statement that it had retested samples

from a batch of Enfamil premium newborn powdered formula and found no presence of Cronobacter, a bacterium that has sometimes been linked to rare illnesses in newborns.

Enfamil was pulled off shelves at WalMart last week after the death of an infant in Missouri, who had been fed the formula and tested positive for Cronobacter.

Cronobacter has been found in milk-based powdered baby formula and is also a relatively common environmental contaminant.

A federal investigation is under way and so far no link has been found between the infant's illness and the formula, which was purchased at a WalMart store in Missouri.

Test results from the samples will not be available until later this week, federal officials said.

Mead Johnson said it had tested the same samples and followed the same methodology used by public health officials.

"These new results reaffirm the testing conducted before the batch was made available to retailers and consumers," the company said.

"Based on both sets of tests, Mead Johnson can say with confidence that Enfamil Premium Newborn formula, like every infant formula the company produces, is safe," it added.

Mead Johnson's "Enfa" family of products, which includes Enfamil, accounts for about 70 percent of total sales, according to rating agency Standard & Poor's. Mead Johnson reported $3.14 billion in sales in 2010.