Abbott Nutrition announced late on Thursday, Feb. 17, that it is voluntarily recalling infant powdered formula produced at their Sturgis facility in Michigan. This includes Similac, Alimentum, and EleCare brand formula.
The recall comes after four consumer complaints about infant illnesses related to cronobacter sakazakii and salmonella bacteria. In all four cases, infants were hospitalized and cronobacter may have contributed to a death in one case. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration is investigating and working with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, state and local partners to alert customers to avoid purchasing or using certain powdered infant formula products manufactured at that facility.
The FDA is advising consumers not to use Similac, Alimentum, or EleCare powdered infant formula 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.
According to the Washington State Department of Health, the Women, Infants and Children (WIC) nutrition program is in the process of alerting local WIC providers and WIC participants of the voluntary recall. If you have one of these cans, you should not use the formula, the health department said. Either return it to the store, or contact Similac at www.similacrecall.com, or call 1-800-986-8540. WIC families are encouraged to call their clinic if they cannot get resolution from the store.
If you don’t participate in WIC but are concerned you may have one of the recalled formulas, visit www.similacrecall.com, or call 1-800-986-8540. The website allows you to look up the formula lot number to see if it’s been recalled.
If your infant has consumed the recalled formula, please contact your health care provider.
Cronobacter bacteria can cause severe, life-threatening infections (sepsis) or meningitis (an inflammation of the membranes that protect the brain and spine). Symptoms may include:
- poor feeding
- temperature changes
- jaundice (yellow skin and whites of the eyes)
- grunting breaths
- abnormal movements
- Cronobacter infection may also cause bowel damage and may spread through the blood to other parts of the body.
Salmonella are a group of bacteria that can cause gastrointestinal illness and fever called salmonellosis. Most people with salmonellosis develop diarrhea, fever and abdominal cramps. More severe cases of salmonellosis may include a high fever, aches, headaches, lethargy, a rash, blood in the urine or stool, and in some cases, may become fatal.