FDA warns against using 3 powdered baby formulas linked to infections

WASHINGTON — Health officials in the U.S. on Thursday warned parents not to use three powdered infant formulas manufactured at a plant in Michigan, as they were recently linked to bacterial infections.

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The recall affects certain lots of Similac, Alimentum and EleCare, the FDA stated in a news release Thursday.

In the news release, the Food and Drug Administration said it was investigating complaints of Cronobacter sakazakii and salmonella Newport infections. All four of the cases came from powdered formula produced at Abbott Nutrition’s Sturgis, Michigan, facility. Three of the cases involved Cronobacter sakazakii, a rare but dangerous germ that can cause blood infections, The Associated Press reported. The other case involved salmonella Newport, the FDA said.

The FDA said the cases were reported in Minnesota, Ohio and Texas, adding that Cronobacter may have contributed to a death in one case. All four cases sent victims to the hospital, the agency said.

Abbott said it was working with the FDA to initiate a voluntary recall of the affected products.

The affected products have an expiration date of April 1, 2022, or later, the FDA said. The product was distributed across the U.S. and overseas, the AP reported.

The FDA said it is advising consumers not to use Similac, Alimentum, or EleCare powdered infant formulas if:

  • The first two digits of the code are 22 through 37; and
  • The code on the container contains K8, SH or Z2; and
  • The expiration date is 4-1-2022 (APR 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 a statement. “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.”

Similac has set up a website where parents can check to see if their products have been recalled: https://www.similacrecall.com/us/en/home.html.

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