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Abbott infant formula has voluntarily recalled a few of its products following a death in the United States. Three other infants have been hospitalized possibly contracting Cronobacter sakazakii bacterium or Salmonella Newport from the powdered products. The Federal and Drug Administration (FDA) is currently investigating the four cases from three states — Texas, Ohio, and Minnesota.
Cronobacter is a multi-species complex that consists of gram-negative bacteria that exist in the environment and which can survive in very dry conditions. Currently, the Cronobacter‘s natural habitat is unknown. However, it can be found in starches, infant formula, herbal teas, and skimmed milk powder.
This bacteria can cause several different kinds of infections. Symptoms of Cronobacter can vary depending on the age of the patient and the site of the infection.
Cronobacter usually causes severe meningitis or sepsis in infants under 12 months old. Some babies may experience seizures. Infants “with meningitis may develop brain abscesses or infarcts, hydrocephalus, or other serious complications that can cause long-term neurological problems,” according to the Centers for Disease Controls website. The infant mortality rate for Cronobacter meningitis could be as high as 40%.
The infant formula that has been recalled is the Similac, Alimentum, and EleCare products. To find out if the can on hand is one of the affected items they must meet the following criteria:
- The first two digits of the lot number code are 22 through 37. This can be found on the bottom of the can.
- The code must also include K8, SH, or Z2.
- The expiration date is April 1, 2022 (4-1-2022)
Those who are can also check the lot code on Abbott’s infant formula recall website or call 1-800-986-8540. The company stated that the recall does not include any metabolic deficiency nutrition infant formulas.
Abbott also informed consumers the products were manufactured in their Sturgis, Michigan plant. So far they have discovered Cronobacter sakazakii in the plant’s non-product contact areas. The investigation has not located any evidence of Salmonella Newport. Many parents are highly concerned about infant formula recall.
This investigation into the tainted infant formula is ongoing.
Written by Sheena Robertson
NBC News: FDA warns against some baby formulas after complaints of contamination; by Ariana Brockington and Samantha Kubota
Times of Israel: Following death of infant in US, 2 Similac baby formula products recalled in Israel
Images Courtesy of Sheena Robertson