Blog of the Society for Menstrual Cycle Research

Kotex Tampons Recalled Due to Bacterial Contamination

November 14th, 2011 by Elizabeth Kissling


If you’ve got Kotex tampons at home, check your boxes: Kimberly-Clark, Kotex’s parent company, has recalled the brand’s Natural Balance Security Unscented Tampons (Regular Absorbency) in both the 18- and 36-count boxes, reports the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. The recalled tampons were sold at select Walmart stores in Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska, New Mexico and Texas; select Fry’s stores in Arizona; and select Smith’s stores in Utah and Arizona.

During the manufacturing process, the tampons were contaminated with the bacterium Enterobacter sakazakii, which can cause UTIs, pelvic inflammatory disease, and potentially life-threatening vaginal infections. There is also a chance that the bacteria can be transmitted between individuals.

Consumers should stop using the tampons immediately and contact a physician if you have used them, or if you experience unusual vaginal discharge, rash, fever, headache, vomiting or abdominal pain, particularly if you have AIDS, are HIV-positive, are pregnant or have cancer or any other existing serious illness.

Consumers should also contact Kimberly-Clark’s Consumer Services Division at 1-800-335-6839 so the necessary information and arrangements can be made to retrieve the unused product.

A full list of products is available at the original post.

2 responses to “Kotex Tampons Recalled Due to Bacterial Contamination”

  1. Laura Wershler says:

    This is a serious problem. Do we know anything about how many women might have reported symptoms before Kotex issued the recall? And how long it took to figure this out?

  2. Elizabeth Kissling says:

    Neither the FDA release nor Kotex’s own press release have any more information than what I posted. I didn’t do much research last night, I admit — it was late, and I was more concerned with getting the word out.

    I note that Kotex’s website calls it a “regional” product recall, rather than a national recall – it looks like the product circulation was limited to the Dallas, Texas, area.

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