Kotex Contamination Recall: 'Natural Balance' Security Tampons

A Kotex ad from 1952
A Kotex ad from 1952

It does make the "security" in the tampon title a bit, shall we say, ironic? They may keep you safe from leakage, but at the price of bacterial infection.

We never did solve the mystery of the disappearing o.b.'s, but now there's more bad news about tampons: The company that makes Kotex is recalling some of its Natural Balance Security Unscented Tampons, in the regular absorbency size, because of bacterial contamination. Here's a piece of the recall on the FDA's Website, here, and hat-tip to the folks at for pointing it out.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE - November 9, 2011 - Effective November 9, 2011, Kimberly-Clark announced a product recall of a limited number of its Kotex Natural Balance* Security® Unscented Tampons Regular Absorbency distributed to specific stores in the United States.

This recall is limited to two product SKUs (carton codes), 15063 (18 count) and 15068 (36 count). The tampons were manufactured with a raw material contaminated with a bacterium, Enterobacter sakazakii, which may cause health risks, including vaginal infections, urinary tract infections (UTIs), pelvic inflammatory disease or infections that can be life-threatening.  Women with serious existing illnesses, cancer or immune-compromised conditions, such as HIV, are at increased risk.  There is limited evidence of transfer between individuals with this bacterium.

The impacted product includes both 18-count and 36-count packages of the Kotex Natural Balance* Security ® Unscented Tampons Regular Absorbency that were shipped to retail customers between October 29, 2011 and November 2, 2011 in specific Walmart stores in Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska, New Mexico and Texas; specific Fry’s stores in Arizona; and specific Smith’s stores in Utah and Arizona.

A listing of stores impacted and the latest information can also be found on the Kimberly-Clark website at  and the Kotex brand website at

This program aired on November 14, 2011. The audio for this program is not available.

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Carey Goldberg Editor, CommonHealth
Carey Goldberg is the editor of WBUR's CommonHealth section.



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