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FOR RELEASE: November 5, 2002
CONTACT: Pamela Williams
405/271-5601

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:

  • Buy produce that is not bruised or damaged. If buying fresh cut produce, be sure it is refrigerated or surrounded by ice. After purchase, put produce that needs refrigeration away promptly.
  • Wash all fresh fruits and vegetables with cool tap water immediately before eating. Scrub firm produce, such as melons and cucumbers, with a clean produce brush. Don't use soaps or detergents.
  • Wash hands often before and after handling fresh produce, and wash surfaces such as cutting boards, dishes, utensils, and counter tops with hot soapy water after coming in contact with fresh produce.
  • Fresh produce should be refrigerated within two hours of peeling or cutting and discarded if left at room temperature for more than two hours.

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)
Baby Basics by Albertson's Infant Formula with Iron 1 LB (454g)
Baby Basics by Albertson's Soy Infant Formula with Iron 2 LB (908g)
Baby Basics by Albertson's Soy Infant Formula with Iron 1 LB (454g)
Baby Basics by Albertson's Formula for older infants with iron 1 LB. 15.7 oz (900g)
Kozy Kids Infant Formula with Iron 16 oz (454g)
Kozy Kids Soy Infant Formula with Iron 16 oz (454g)
CVS Soy Infant Formula with Iron 16 oz (454g)
Hill Country Fare Infant Formula with Iron 32 oz (2 LB) 908g
Hill Country Fare Infant Formula with Iron 16 oz (1 LB) 454g
Hill Country Fare Soy Infant Formula with Iron 32 oz (2 LB) 908g
Hill Country Fare Soy Infant Formula with Iron 16 oz (1 LB) 454g
HEB Baby Infant Formula with Iron 32 oz (2 LB) 908g
American Fare Little Ones Infant Formula with Iron 2 LB (908g)
American Fare Little Ones Soy Infant Formula with Iron 2 LB (908g)
American Fare Little Ones Formula for Older Infants with Iron & Calcium 1 LB 15.7 (900g) HomeBest Soy Infant Formula with Iron 2 LB. (908 g)
Safeway Select Infant Formula with Iron 2 LB (908g)
Safeway Select Infant Formula 2 1 LB 15.7 oz (900g)
Healthy Baby Infant Formula with Iron 2 LB (908g)
Healthy Baby Infant Formula with Iron 1 LB (454g)
Healthy Baby Soy Infant Formula with Iron 2 LB (908g)
Healthy Baby Formula for Older Infants with Iron 1 LB 15.7 oz. (900g)
Walgreens Infant Formula with Iron 16 oz (454g)
Parent's Choice Infant Formula with Iron 2 LB (908g)
Parent's Choice Infant Formula with Iron 16 oz (454g)
Parent's Choice Soy Infant Formula with Iron 2 LB (908g)
Parent's Choice Soy Infant Formula with Iron 35oz (1 kg)
Parent's Choice 2 Infant Formula with Iron 1 LB 15.7 oz (900g)

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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