A recall of powdered baby formula that was manufactured at Abbott Laboratories has been recalled due to infants suffering from a serious bacterial infection after consuming formulas from that location. According to NBC, the bacteria Cronobacter sakazakii has caused four infants to fall gravely ill and has caused two of those infants’ deaths. There was also one case of salmonella that was connected to Abbott Laboratories, the Food and Drug Administration noted. Similac, Alimentum and EleCare are manufactured at the Sturgis, Michigan lab.
Cronobacter sakazakii is a germ that lives in the environment and can live in dry foods, the Center for Disease Control said. Symptoms of this infection include poor feeding, fever, crying and low energy. The Cronobacter infection can lead to sepsis and meningitis.
“Infants two months of age and younger are most likely to develop meningitis if they get sick from Cronobacter,” the CDC said on their website. “Other infants more likely to get sick are those born prematurely and those less able to fight germs and sickness because of illness or medical treatment, such as infants receiving chemotherapy for cancer.”
Mothers can avoid buying Abbott-produced formula by looking at the product codes and the expiration date. If the expiration date is April 1, 2022 or later and If the code on the bottom of the package includes K8, SH or Z2 or are 22 through 37 then it is advised to not purchase.
Despite the reports of infants falling ill, Abbott Laboratories deny that any bacteria could’ve been found in their formula.
Importantly, no distributed product has tested positive for the presence of either of these bacteria, and we continue to test,” they said in a statement. “Abbott conducts extensive quality checks on each completed batch of infant formula, including microbiological analysis prior to release. All finished infant formula powder products are tested for Cronobacter, Salmonella, and other pathogens, and they must test negative before the product is released. Additionally, retained samples related to the three complaints for Cronobacter sakazakii tested negative for Cronobacter. And the retained sample related to the complaint for Salmonella Newport tested negative for Salmonella. ”
Mothers can prevent infection by breastfeeding, cleaning and sanitizing baby bottles and other feeding items, using liquid formula and heating water that gets mixed with the powder to 158 degrees Fahrenheit.