After four cases that included one death, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is warning consumers to stop using certain types of infant formula as Abbott Nutrition agrees to a voluntary baby formula recall. The FDA has launched an investigation into the products believed to have caused cases of Cronobacter sakazakii and Salmonella Newport infections. The products in question have all come from the same facility in Sturgis, Michigan.
So far, there have been four infant illnesses in three different states: Minnesota, Ohio, and Texas. However, the recalled products have been shipped across the United States and to outside countries.
Which Products are on Voluntary Recall?
The FDA is “advising consumers not to use recalled Similac, Alimentum, or EleCare powdered infant formulas.”
Recalled products can be identified by the 7 to 9 digit code and expiration date on the bottom of the package (see image below). Products are included in the recall if they have all three items below:
- 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.
If you want to check if your powdered formula is part of the recall, you can enter the product lot code on the bottom of your package on the company’s website.
Additionally, the Administration states:
The FDA is working with Abbott Nutrition to better assess the impacts of the recall and understand production capacity at other Abbott facilities that produce some of the impacted brands. We are also working with Abbott Nutrition on safe resumption of production at the Sturgis, MI facility. Throughout the pandemic, FDA has also been monitoring potential supply chain risks for this category of products and has been reaching out to infant formula manufacturers and their trade groups. As Abbott Nutrition was initiating its recall, FDA intensified this outreach to infant formula manufacturers to inquire about their capacity and potential impacts given this developing situation. We will continue discussion with Abbott Nutrition and other infant formula manufacturers and consider all tools available to support the supply of infant formula products.
Which Infections Should Worry Consumers?
Frank Yiannas, FDA Deputy Commissioner for Food Policy and Response, issued a warning stating, “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. 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.”
The infections being investigated are Cronobacter sakazakii and Salmonella Newport. Cronobacter is the bacterium that causes foodborne illnesses in infants. While rare, this infection can become fatal once it causes sepsis or meningitis. Symptoms include heavy breathing, loss of appetite, temperature changes, abnormal movements, and irritability. Cronobacter can also cause bowel damage and spread to other parts of the body through one’s blood. Of the four cases being investigated, the one death is believed to have been caused by cronobacter sakazakii.
Salmonella is an infection that causes gastrointestinal illness. Symptoms include fever, abdominal cramps, diarrhea, aches, lethargy, blood in the urine or stool, and rash. In some cases, this can become fatal. Three of the four cases are believed to be caused by salmonella.
What To Do if Your Child is Experiencing Symptoms
The FDA states:
If your infant is experiencing symptoms related to Cronobacter or Salmonella infection, such as poor feeding, irritability, temperature changes, jaundice, grunting breaths, abnormal movements, lethargy, rash, or blood in the urine or stool; contact your health care provider to report their symptoms and receive immediate care.
Your Next Steps
If you believe you are owed compensation due to the Abbott baby formula recall, contact us today, at Keller, Melchiorre & Walsh PLLC. Consumers should never have to pay the price of a company’s negligence, especially when it comes to innocent children. Not only can we help navigate the legal waters for you and your family, but we can also help you recover the money you will inevitably have to spend on medical bills, wages lost to attend medical appointments, and other expenses. You need a trusted lawyer to fight on your behalf, and our experienced team has the drive to get your family successfully on the road to recovery.