Musty odor drives another Tylenol recall

Add this week's one-lot recall of J&J/McNeil's Tylenol extra strength caplets, 225 count bottles, to our Tylenol Recall Timeline. The lot involves 61,000 bottles distributed at the retail level. And like many of the Tylenol recalls before it, the action began with complaints of a musty, moldy odor.

That odor, of course, is now largely associated with the chemical 2,4,6-tribromoanisole (TBA), the byproduct of a preservative used in wooden pallets. J&J's Tylenol recalls and TBA are the instigators of the ongoing pallet wars between wood and plastic proponents.

J&J's latest woes come nearly three months after a late March recall involving one lot of musty-smelling Tylenol 8-hour extended release caplets and more than five months after the whopper in January: 47 million packages of Tylenol treatments, plus Sudafed, Benadryl and Sinutab.

The latter recall was attributed to a records audit, part of McNeil's QA cleanup act of the company's Fort Washington, PA, plant. The audit revealed equipment-cleaning anomalies, the company says. The products from all three of these recalls were manufactured at Fort Washington plant, now under consent decree, prior to its April 2010 shutdown.

J&J's most recent recall prior to yesterday's, however, was the non-Tylenol action for Ortho-McNeil-Janssen's anti-schizophrenic drug Risperdal and sibling risperidone, which is marketed by subsidiary Patriot Pharmaceuticals. The familiar recall culprit--consumer reports of a musty odor.

- see the current Tylenol recall release
- see the March recall notice
- and the January release

Special Report: The Battered Brand: A Tylenol Recall Timeline