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FOR RELEASE: November 5, 2002
State and Federal Health Officials Issue Consumer Alerts
The Oklahoma State Department of Health is joining with the federal Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to warn consumers to take precautions before eating imported cantaloupe or other produce from Mexico, and to alert the public to a voluntary recall of powdered infant formula.
The FDA says that due to unsanitary conditions in the growing and packing of cantaloupe in Mexico, four Salmonellosis outbreaks have been documented in the U.S. in the last three years, resulting in many illnesses, hospitalizations, and at least two deaths.
Although less plentiful than in the summer months, consumers may still find cantaloupes on their grocer's shelf. The FDA says it has sampled cantaloupe that tested positive for Salmonella grown for the fall/winter and spring/summer seasons throughout the growing regions in Mexico. Salmonella can cause serious and sometimes fatal infections in young children, elderly people, and others with weakened immune systems. Healthy persons infected with Salmonella often experience fever, diarrhea (which may be bloody), nausea, vomiting, and abdominal pain.
State health officials recommend consumers take the following steps in handling produce to reduce the risk of foodborne illnesses:
State health officials also join with the FDA to alert consumers to a voluntary recall of powdered infant formula announced by Wyeth Nutritionals Inc. Certain lots of powdered infant formula manufactured between July 12 and September 25 of this year may be contaminated with Enterobacter sakazakii. E sakazakii is a foodborne pathogen that can cause sepsis (bacteria in the blood), meningitis (inflammation of the brain), or necrotizing enterocolitis (severe intestinal infection) in newborn infants, particularly premature infants or those with weakened immune systems. No illnesses have been reported to date in connection with this contamination.
The powdered infant formula was distributed nationwide in retail stores and can be identified by an expiration/use by date, embossed on the bottom of the can: 07 28 05, 08 28 05, and 09 28 05. The products can also be identified by a six-digit character embossed on the bottom of the cans. The first four characters include: K12N through K19N; L07N through L30N; and N03N through N25N.
The products include:
Baby Basics by Albertson's Infant Formula with Iron 2 LB (908g)
Consumers who have purchased the powdered infant formula are urged to return the product to the place of purchase for a full refund. Consumers with questions may contact Wyeth at 1-888-526-5376.
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