3 types of formula recalled after reported bacterial infections

Abbott Nutrition, a popular baby food maker, said Thursday it was voluntarily recalling three types of infant formula after four babies fell ill with bacterial infections after consuming the products.

The recall includes selection of batches of Similac, Alimentum and EleCare formulas which were manufactured at an Abbott factory in Sturgis, Michigan. It comes after the Food and Drug Administration received four consumer complaints about bacterial infections linked to the formulas.

Three of the complaints were about Cronobacter sakazakii, a bacterium that can cause serious and life-threatening infections or inflammation of the membranes that protect the brain and spine. Cronobacter infection can also cause intestinal damage and spread through the blood to other parts of the body. according to the FDA.

The FDA had issued a recommendation to parents on Thursday warning them about the products after illnesses in Minnesota, Ohio and Texas led to the hospitalization of four infants. The bacteria may have contributed to a death in one case, the agency said.

“We appreciate the trust parents place in us for safe, high-quality food and we will do everything in our power to maintain that trust and resolve this situation,” said Vicky Assardo, Senior Director of Global Public Affairs at Abbott Nutrition, in a statement. announcement Friday evening.

The recall, which comes during a drastic shortage of baby food, affects certain lots of Similac, Alimentum and EleCare with expiration dates of April 1, 2022 or later. Products affected by the recall will also have a long sequence of numbers on the bottom of the container that begins with the first two digits 22 through 37 and contains K8, SH or Z2.

The recall does not apply to Abbott products manufactured at other facilities, the company said.

In its announcement, Abbott did not specify the number of units affected by the recall, but Similac baby formulas are very popular in the United States and abroad.

In its statement announcing the recall, Abbott said it was performing “routine testing for Cronobacter sakazakii and other pathogens.”

During testing of the Sturgis facility, the company said it “found evidence of Cronobacter sakazakii in the plant in non-product contact areas,” but no evidence of Salmonella Newport, the bacteria cited in the fourth consumer complaint.

“No product distributed has tested positive for the presence of either of these bacteria,” Abbott said.

But the FDA says he threw an on-site inspection of the factory during which environmental samples tested positive for Cronobacter. Inspectors also found potential manufacturing issues, and a review of internal records revealed the company’s previous destruction of products due to bacterial contamination, the agency said.

Frank Yiannas, the FDA’s deputy commissioner for dietary policy and response, said he was “deeply concerned” by the reports because formula is a “product used as the sole source of nutrition for many newborns. and nourish our country”.

The FDA is working with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention as well as federal and local authorities in Minnesota, Ohio and Texas in its investigation.

The FDA recommends that parents and caregivers of infants who used the recalled products contact their child’s healthcare provider if they have any concerns about their child’s health.

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