More baby formula recalled after infant death: FDA

U.S.

Empty shelf space is seen at a Price Chopper supermarket in Guilderland, N.Y., where recalled Similac powder products were displayed, on Thursday, Sept. 23, 2010. (AP Photo/Mike Groll)

(NEXSTAR) — More baby formula has been recalled after another infant death was reported, federal officials announced Monday. In total, five cases of infant illness after being exposed to certain brands of formula have been included in the investigation.

Earlier this month, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration confirmed an investigation was underway following consumer complaints of Cronobacter sakazakii and Salmonella Newport infections. In all of the reported cases, the infants are said to have consumed a powdered formula from Abbott Nutrition’s Sturgis, Michigan, facility.

“We want to extend our heartfelt sympathies to the families. We value the trust parents place in us for high quality and safe nutrition and we’ll do whatever it takes to keep that trust,” Abbott Nutrition told NewsNation.

As a result of the investigation, batches of product from three different brands – Similac, Alimentum, and EleCare – have been recalled. Monday, the FDA added another lot of Similac formula to the recall list.

The FDA reports an additional infant has died, and a Cronobacter infection may have been a contributing factor. This infant reportedly consumed Similac PM 60/40. After the FDA and CDC informed Abbott Nutrition, the company issued a voluntary recall for the affected product: Similac PM 60/40 with lot code 27032K80 (can) and 27032K800 (case).

Only those products with matching codes are included in this addition to the recall.

According to Abbott Nutrition, “no distributed product has tested positive for the presence of Cronobacter sakazakii.” Recently tested samples from the above lots were also negative for Cronobacter.

Cronobacter bacteria can cause severe, life-threatening infections, such as sepsis or meningitis, according to the CDC. Cronobacter infections are often serious in infants and can lead to death. Salmonella, a group of bacteria, can cause gastrointestinal illness and fever.

Within this investigation are four reports of Cronobacter sakazakii infections and one complaint of Salmonella Newport. All five resulted in hospitalization, and Cronobacter may have contributed to two total deaths, the FDA says.

Similac, Alimentum, and EleCare powdered formulas included in the recall have all three items below, according to the FDA:

  • The first two digits of the code are 22 through 37
  • The code has K8, SH, or Z2
  • The expiration date is 4-1-2022 or later

See the rest of Abbott’s statement to NewsNation below:

The cases are under investigation and at this time the cause of the infants’ infections have not been determined. All infant formula products are tested for Cronobacter sakazakii, Salmonella and other pathogens and they must test negative before any product is released. In addition, retained samples related to the complaints for Cronobacter sakazakii tested negative for Cronobacter sakazakii. And the retained sample related to the complaint for Salmonella tested negative for Salmonella.

If you’re unsure whether your formula is included in this recall, you can search your lot number on Abbott Nutrition’s website.

If you have used these products and are concerned about the health of your child, the FDA recommends speaking with your health care provider. If your child begins experiencing symptoms of Cronobacter or salmonella, notify your healthcare provider and seek medical attention for your child immediately.

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