The FDA has confirmed five different strains of Cronobacter sakazakii bacteria at a production facility that makes infant formula that have been linked to four illnesses and two deaths.
None of the five different strains matched two available samples from sick babies, according to an announcement from the Food and Drug Administration. The agency found four of the strains of the bacteria at the Abbott Nutrition plant in Sturgis, MI, and the company found another.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention performed whole genome sequencing on the two available patient samples and found that the Cronobacter strains did not match any of the data deposited in the National Center for Biotechnology Informatics (NCBI) database. . Product samples collected by the FDA from the facility were tested for Cronobacter and tested negative.
Federal public health officials from the FDA and CDC continue to warn parents and caregivers to check any infant formula they have on hand for the following identifying information.
Certain Similac, Alimentum or EleCare powdered infant formulas have been recalled. Products can be identified by the 7-9 digit code and expiry date on the bottom of the package. Products are included in the recall if they contain all three items below:
- the first two digits of the code are from 22 to 37 and
- the code on the container contains K8, SH or Z2, and
- the expiry date is 4-1-2022 (April 2022) or a later date.
In addition to the products described above, Abbott Nutrition has recalled Similac PM 60/40 with lot code 27032K80 on cans or 27032K800 on cases.
The FDA and Abbott Nutrition officials continue to investigate the situation. The Sturgis, MI production facility is not in operation.
Some parents have reported difficulty finding substitutes to feed their baby.
“The FDA is working with Abbott Nutrition to better assess the impacts of the recall and understand the manufacturing capacity of other Abbott facilities that produce some of the affected brands,” according to the federal agency. “We are also working with Abbott Nutrition on the safe resumption of production at the Sturgis, MI plant. We will continue discussions with Abbott Nutrition and other infant formula manufacturers and review all available tools to support infant formula supply. »
Additional FDA Information for Parents and Caregivers
If your regular formula is not available, contact your child’s healthcare provider for recommendations on changing feeding practices.
If you get formula through WIC, do not discard the formula. Instead, bring it to the store for a refund and exchange or call the company at 800-986-8540 for assistance. WIC recipients should be able to obtain another brand with a similar formula. Call your local WIC clinic for more advice. Also see:
More information about Cronobacter and infant formula is available on the CDC’s website.
The recalled powdered infant formula may be contaminated with
Cronobacter bacteria, which can cause serious and life-threatening infections, including sepsis or meningitis, inflammation of the membranes that protect the brain and spine. Symptoms of sepsis and meningitis can include poor diet, irritability, temperature changes, jaundice (yellowing of the skin and whites of the eyes), grunting, and abnormal body movements.
Cronobacter infection can also cause intestinal damage and spread through the blood to other parts of the body.
If your child has any of these symptoms, you should immediately tell your child’s health care provider and seek medical attention for your child. Health care providers and health departments are encouraged to report any confirmed cases of Cronobacter sakazakii to the CDC.
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