The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has issued a baby formula recall over fears of bacterial contamination.
On Thursday, the FDA announced an investigation of formula brands Similac, Alimentum, and EleCare after four babies from Minnesota, Ohio, and Texas became ill after using the products, all of whom were hospitalized and one who died. The concerns are related to Cronobacter sakazakii (which can cause sepsis or neonatal meningitis) and Salmonella Newport infections.
The powdered formula were produced by Abbott Nutrition in Michigan and should not be consumed if they meet three criteria: The first two digits fall between 22 and 37, and the product code includes K8, SH or Z2, and the expiration date is April 1, 2022 or later.
“As this is a product used as the sole source of nutrition for many of our nation’s newborns and infants, the FDA is deeply concerned about these reports of bacterial infections,” Frank Yiannas, FDA Deputy Commissioner for Food Policy and Response said in the press release. “We want to reassure the public that we’re working diligently with our partners to investigate complaints related to these products, which we recognize include infant formula produced at this facility, while we work to resolve this safety concern as quickly as possible.”
The recall is voluntary, stated Abbott in its press release, adding, “…As part of Abbott’s quality processes, we conduct routine testing for Cronobacter sakazakii and other pathogens in our manufacturing facilities. During testing in our Sturgis, Mich., facility, we found evidence of Cronobacter sakazakii in the plant in non-product contact areas. We found no evidence of Salmonella Newport. This investigation is ongoing.”
The statement continued, “Importantly, no distributed product has tested positive for the presence of either of these bacteria, and we continue to test. Abbott conducts extensive quality checks on each completed batch of infant formula, including microbiological analysis prior to release. All finished products are tested for Cronobacter sakazakii, Salmonella Newport and other pathogens and they must test negative before any product is released. Additionally, retained samples related to the three complaints for Cronobacter sakazakii tested negative for Cronobacter sakazakii. And the retained sample related to the complaint for Salmonella Newport tested negative for Salmonella Newport.”
Parents who use these items can visit SimilacRecall to learn more information.
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