Children’s Medicine Contamination Happened in Grimy Plant

The FDA has found dust, grime, and bad quality control at the Johnson & Johnson manufacturing plant that produced last week’s recalled children’s medicine. The plant basically sounded like a backyard operation (Reuters):

A Food and Drug Administration report released on Tuesday said its inspectors found thick dust and grime covering certain equipment, a hole in the ceiling and duct tape-covered pipes at the Fort Washington, Pennsylvania, facility that made 40 products recalled last Friday.

Inspectors also found raw ingredients contaminated by an unspecified bacteria, a lack of quality control procedures and poor handling of complaints, according to the report dated April 30. The FDA’s report said inspectors found raw material used to manufacture several lots of Children’s and Infant’s Tylenol was contaminated with bacteria, but none of the finished drug product sampled tested positive.

There were 46 consumer complaints about dark material in the liquid products between June 2009 and April 2010, according to the FDA report.

Johnson & Johnson’s factory isn’t the first to be called out for dirty conditions. Early last year, bird droppings leaked into Kelloggs peanut butter–probably courtesy of a hole in the factory ceiling. Although the bacteria responsible for the J&J recall may not have come from the condition of the factory, updating factories would still go a long way towards preventing these kinds of problems.

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Written by Drea Knufken

Drea Knufken

Currently, I create and execute content- and PR strategies for clients, including thought leadership and messaging. I also ghostwrite and produce press releases, white papers, case studies and other collateral.