Johnson & Johnson is recalling a 127,728 bottles of Tylenol after reports the painkiller had a weird, musty odor. This is not the first time this has happened this year, in fact, the company has recalled millions of Tylenol bottles as well as some other medications for the same reason; a moldy smell. The company is already facing a congressional probe into its quality control.

The lot number of the Tylenol in this current recall is BCM155.

J&J says this recall involved adult Tylenol eight-hour caplets in bottles of 50 across the USA and Puerto Rico. The lot was manufactured in March this year at its McNeil Consumer Healthcare unit, Fort Washington, Pennsylvania. A spokesperson said that the risk of becoming ill because of the odor is remote. Its Fort Washington unit has been closed down for an upgrade after an FDA (Food and Drug Administration) found some faults, including grime, contaminated ingredients and thick dust. The upgrade is expected to be completed in 2011. Meanwhile production has been increased at its other McNeil units to make up for the lost production. The Fort Washington plant accounts for about 1% of the company’s total production.

Earlier on this year in May, J&J recalled all unexpired lots of certain OTC (over-the-counter) Children’s and Infants’ liquid products, including Tylenol, Motrin, Zyrtec and Benadryl, manufactured in the USA and sold in the United States, Canada, Dominican Republic, Dubai (UAE), Fiji, Guam, Guatemala, Jamaica, Puerto Rico, Panama, Trinidad & Tobago, and Kuwait. The company received a warning letter in January 2010 from the FDA which stated it had waited over a year to inform regulators after reports of strange odors in Tylenol Arthritis Pain Caplets.

In January this year the company recalled 53 million bottles of Tylenol, Motrin and Rolaids. The same strange odor was traced back to a chemical – 2,4,6-tribromoanisole – which had been detected in wooden pallets used to carry and store the packaging materials.

Experts say Johnson & Johnson’s third quarter earnings will probably be affected by several large recalls that have occurred this year, resulting in lost sales, legal settlements and upgrade expenses McNeil (part of J&J) is under a federal criminal investigation.

William Weldon, J&J’s CEO admitted before lawmakers last month that the company had let its consumers down through several recent medication recalls.

Written by Christian Nordqvist