The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), along with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), are investigating five consumer complaints nationwide of infant illness related to infant formula products from the Abbott Nutrition facility in Sturgis, Michigan. These complaints were received from September 20, 2021, to January 11, 2022. All of the infants who are ill are reported to have consumed powdered infant formula produced at this facility. As a result, a recall was issued on February 17, 2022(link is external) for Similac, Alimentum, and EleCare powdered formula produced during a certain time period.
The FDA advises consumers not to use recalled Similac, Alimentum or EleCare (including EleCare Jr.) powdered infant formulas. Recalled products can be identified by the 7- to 9-digit code and expiration date on the bottom of the package. 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.
In addition to products described above, Abbott Nutrition has recalled Similac PM 60/40 with a lot code 27032K80 (can) / 27032K800 (case). At this time, Similac PM 60/40 with lot code 27032K80 (can) / 27032K800 (case) are the only type and lots of this specialty formula being recalled. Additional recall information is available on the FDA website(link is external). Parents and caregivers can also enter their product lot code on the company’s website to check if it is part of the recall. Do not feed infants recalled powdered formula. If you check your formula and it is one of the affected products, immediately stop all use and return it to the store where it was purchased.
“If your family has recently used formula from this recalled batch, watch out for any signs of illness including fever, poor feeding, crying, or low energy,” said DHS State Epidemiologist for Maternal and Child Health Dr. Jasmine Zapata. “If your child is ill, contact a health care provider immediately.”
Families can find information about the recall as well as suitable replacement products on the DHS Outbreaks and Investigations page. Food pantries and local WIC sites are providing replacement formula products for families. If a family is having trouble getting formula, dial 211 or chat with a community resources specialist online. Breastfeeding resources are available on the DHS WIC webpage.
Although most children who consumed the recalled product will not become ill, the recalled products have been linked to both Cronobacter(link is external) sakazakii and Salmonella Newport infections in infants. All five infants related to these complaints were hospitalized, and Cronobacter infection may have contributed to two deaths nationwide to date. If your child is showing any of the following symptoms, you should contact their pediatrician or a health care provider:
- Poor feeding
- Low energy
Health care providers should report suspected cases of Cronobacter sakazakii or salmonellosis in children who consumed recalled products to their local health department.
For infants under 12 months, Cronobacter may cause sepsis or severe meningitis, according to the CDC. Some infants may experience seizures. Those with meningitis may develop brain abscesses or infarcts, hydrocephalus, or other serious complications that can cause long-term neurological problems. The mortality rate for Cronobacter meningitis, which is more common in infants less than two months old, may be as high as 40 percent. Most persons infected with Salmonella bacteria develop diarrhea, fever, and abdominal cramps 12 to 72 hours after infection, according to the CDC. The illness usually lasts 4 to 7 days and can be severe in infants.