By Jim Donovan: Nutek Disposables, Inc. is recalling baby wipes sold at Walgreens, Sam’s Club, Family Dollar, Fred’s and Diapers.com because some packages may contain bacteria. Nutek manufactured the wipes under the brand names Cuties, Diapers.com, Femtex, Fred’s, Kidgets, Member’s Mark, Simply Right, Sunny Smiles, Tender Touch, and Well Beginnings. These wipes were distributed by Nutek prior to October 21, 2014.
The company says that after receiving a small number of complaints of odor and discoloration, Nutek conducted microbial testing that showed the presence of a bacteria, called Burkholderia cepacia (B. cepacia), in some of these products. Soon after, on October 3, 2014 the company initiated a voluntary withdrawal of lots that had tested positive for the bacteria, as well as other baby wipes in the surrounding time frame. After some additional lots were tested, as a precautionary measure, Nutek decided to withdraw all its baby wipe products.
B. cepacia poses little medical risk to healthy people. However, people who have certain health problems like weakened immune systems or chronic lung diseases, particularly cystic fibrosis, may be more susceptible to infections with B. cepacia. If you believe you have a weakened immune system or chronic lung disease and you have used one of the affected wipe products, you should call your doctor promptly for medical advice.
As of October 3, 2014, the date of the original withdrawal, the company had received only one report of irritation. Numerous reports of complaints have since been received by the company that include rash, irritation, infections, fever, gastro-intestinal issues, and respiratory issues, though these reports have not been confirmed to be related to the use of these products.
The company has not identified the cause of the problem, but is continuing to investigate. In the interim, Nutek has stopped shipping baby wipes manufactured at the facility. The company is working with the U.S. Food & Drug Administration and the affected retailers and distributors throughout this process to address the issue.
Consumers who have purchased this product can return it to the place of purchase for a full refund. Consumers with questions may contact the company at 1-855-646-4351, Monday through Friday, 10 AM – 4 PM EDT.
More than ten days prior to the recall announcement by Nutek, Sam’s Club had already removed packages of Simply Right baby wipes from its shelves, alerting customers to the issue via email. The email said in part, “You are receiving this message because Sam’s Club’s records indicate that you recently purchased Simply Right baby wipes. As soon as we learned that some of these baby wipes may not meet our safety and quality standards, we voluntarily directed all clubs to remove the product from our shelves and website and placed an electronic block at our registers so the item can’t be purchased. We continue to work with our supplier to quickly understand the facts and necessary next steps.”