FDA warns consumers not to use recalled powdered baby formula

The Detroit News

The Food and Drug Administration is advising consumers not to use recalled Similac, Alimentum or EleCare powdered infant formula after bacterial infections developed linked to powered baby formulas.

Four consumer complaints of infant illness were tied to products from Abbott Nutrition's Sturgis, Michigan, facility, the FDA said. Three reports referred to Cronobacter sakazakii infections and one named Salmonella Newport. All four cases involved hospitalizations; Cronobacter may have contributed to one death, the FDA said.

The FDA has launched an onsite inspection. Abbott Nutrition initiated a voluntary recall of certain powered formulas on Thursday.

The recall does not involve liquid formula or metabolic deficiency nutrition formulas.

"Findings to date include several positive Cronobacter results from environmental samples taken by FDA, and adverse inspectional observations by FDA investigators," according to a notice on the FDA website. "A review of the firm’s internal records also indicate environmental contamination with Cronobacter sakazakii and the firm’s destruction of product due to the presence of Cronobacter."

Recalled products carry a seven- to nine-digit code and expiration date on the bottom of the package. Products in the recall will carry these three listings:

►The first two digits of the code are 22 through 37 

►The code on the container contains K8, SH, or Z2

►The expiration date is 4-1-2022 (APR 2022) or later

Recall information is available on the FDA website or by entering the product code lot on the company’s website.

Abbott said it was launching a "proactive, voluntary recall" of the powered formulas listed.

"Abbott is voluntarily recalling these products after four consumer complaints related to Cronobacter sakazakii or Salmonella Newport in infants who had consumed powder infant formula manufactured in this facility," the company said.

Cronobacter bacteria can cause severe, life-threatening sepsis or meningitis infections. Symptoms can include poor feeding, irritability, temperature changes, jaundice, grunting breaths and abnormal movements, the FDA said. A Coronbacter infection can cause bowel damage and may spread through the blood to other parts of the body, the FDsaid.