Walmart Stores removed baby formula made by Mead Johnson Nutrition Co. from more than 3,000 stores on Thursday after the death of a Missouri infant.
The retailer is awaiting the outcome of an investigation to see if the formula, which was purchased at a Walmart store, carries the bacteria that was present in the infant and could have led to his death.
"We take things like this very seriously," said Walmart spokeswoman Dianna Gee. "We decided to pull it until we know more."
One of the 12.5-ounce cans of Enfamil Newborn powder carrying the lot number ZP1K7G was purchased in a Lebanon, Mo., store for a 10-day-old boy who subsequently died from a rare bacterial infection, Cronobacter.
The bacteria is pervasive throughout the environment, so investigators "look at everything," including the formula, said Mead Johnson spokesman Christopher Perille.
The firm's own pre-sale testing showed the bacteria was not present, Perille said. The company also went back after the death and confirmed testing had been done, and the results were negative, he said. The lot went to Walmart and other retailers, which Perille was unable to disclose.
The infection is considered rare, with 50 cases from various causes over the past 40 years, Perille said.
He also said there are no ramifications "until there is a conclusion of the investigation."