Posted on Dec. 23rd, 2011 at 7:30pm
The following post is written by Daniel March, Mead Johnson’s global Director of Food Safety. Dan has more than 37 years experience in the infant formula industry, including that past 25 years with Mead Johnson. Dan is also a past member of the U.S. Delegation to the CODEX Committee on Food Hygiene.
Like so many others, I’ve been deeply saddened by the recent death of a newborn Missouri boy. The infant tested positive for Cronobacter (Enterobacter Sakazaki), a microorganism that can cause rare but serious illness in newborn babies. My deepest sympathies are with his family and loved ones.
Mead Johnson is cooperating with health officials, who are testing Enfamil Premium Newborn powdered formula that the baby consumed (12.5 ounce cans with the number ZP1K7G on the bottom. Click here to read Mead Johnson’s official statement). Cronobacter bacteria can be found in many elements of the home, including clothing, bedding and food preparation surfaces.
I’ve dedicated my career to ensuring the safety of baby formula and other infant nutrition products, and my Mead Johnson colleagues and I are committed to developing, producing and delivering the safest, highest quality infant nutrition products available today.
Because those products nourish millions of babies around the world, we are extremely serious about ensuring product safety.
All of our infant formula products undergo more than 2,300 quality tests before they are shipped to retailers and other customers. The standards we’ve set always meet and often exceed global regulatory standards set by the World Health Organization’s Codex Alimentarius Commission, the United States Food & Drug Administration and other regulatory bodies.
Every Mead Johnson employee involved in development, production and packaging of our products receives routine safety training. Our people are continually trained in Good Manufacturing Practices, Good Hygiene Practices and other safety practices.
We continually monitor all aspects of our production facilities to ensure they are operating safely. We are constantly observing and reviewing all aspects of our production processes, from the way our facilities are cleaned, to how raw materials are handled, and the way our equipment is maintained.
We hold our suppliers to the same high safety and quality standards that we follow at Mead Johnson. Through our supplier monitoring program, we make certain our suppliers are always aware of the ultimate customer they are providing for – and therefore, they are expected to act like infant formula suppliers themselves.
We test for Cronobacter in every batch of every powdered product we produce. If even a trace amount of Cronobacter is detected, the batch is destroyed, and we conduct an in-depth investigation to determine what happened.
Mead Johnson products have been trusted by parents, healthcare officials and others for more than 100 years. We don’t take that trust for granted. This is why everyone at Mead Johnson is committed to providing the safest, highest quality and most nutritious products possible. We are committed to doing whatever it takes so we can deliver on our Mission to nourish the world’s children for the best start in life.