Inspection of Abbott’s facility in Sturgis, Michigan, identifies Cronobacter – Salmonella Contamination also Suspected in Baby Formula
On February 17, 2022, Abbott, a widely popular baby formula brand, announced a voluntary recall of its powder formulas, Similac, Alimentum, and EleCare, which were manufactured at one of the company’s facilities located in Sturgis, Michigan. This recall was declared in response to four customer complaints of infant illnesses which began after having consumed powder baby formulas produced at this facility. The infant illnesses are believed to be caused by Cronobacter sakazakii or Salmonella Newport infections.
During a routine environmental testing at Abbott’s facility in Sturgis, Michigan, the presence of Cronobacter sakazakii bacteria was detected in the non-product contact areas of the plant, however, no Salmonella Newport bacteria was detected in the facility. Consequently, the traceback investigation is still going on under the joint efforts of the FDA, CDC, and relevant state and local public health departments.
The recalled powder formula products placed under recall by Abbott include the Similac, Alimentum, or EleCare varieties with the following qualifications: 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 FDA, there are currently four cases of infant illness which are believed to be linked to the consumption of Abbott’s powder formula. Three cases of illness are from Cronobacter infection and one is from Salmonella infection. Those affected reside in Minnesota, Ohio, and Texas. All of the four ill infants were hospitalized and one died, likely due to the Cronobacter infection.
Cronobacter is a type of bacteria which can cause serious and even life-threatening infections, such as sepsis or meningitis. In infants, Cronobacter infection will cause symptoms like poor feeding, irritability, temperature changes, jaundice, grunting breaths and abnormal movements. Salmonella is a type of bacteria which can also cause serious and even life-threatening gastrointestinal illness, sometimes leading to severe dehydration or other complications. Salmonella infection typically causes symptoms such as diarrhea, fever, and abdominal cramps.
If your child has consumed the above listed recalled powder formulas and you notice any of the described symptoms of Cronobacter or Salmonella infection, you should contact your medical provider immediately.
For any new information regarding the ongoing investigation of Abbott’s recalled powder formula products, visit the FDA’s website.