Concord, NH – The New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) is advising consumers not to use certain Similac, Alimentum or EleCare powdered infant formulas due to an ongoing investigation by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) of Cronobacter and Salmonella infections in infants who have consumed the product. There have been no reported illnesses in New Hampshire associated with this investigation.
The FDA, CDC, and public health and regulatory officials in several states (including Minnesota, Ohio, and Texas), are investigating complaints that include three reports of Cronobacter sakazakii infection and one report of Salmonella Newport infection. All of the cases are reported to have consumed powdered infant formula (IF) produced from Abbott Nutrition’s Sturgis, MI facility. Testing within the Sturgis, MI facility identified several environmental samples that were positive for the Cronobacter sakazakii, but there were no detections of Salmonella Newport. Importantly, no finished or distributed product has tested positive for either of these bacteria.
The FDA is advising consumers not to use Similac, Alimentum, or EleCare powdered infant formulas if:
- 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.
The product code is printed on the product packaging near the expiration date (see product image below). Products that do not contain the information listed above are not impacted by this advisory. This advisory does not include liquid formula products or any metabolic deficiency nutrition formulas. Consumers should continue to use all products not covered by this advisory. Parents and caregivers can go to www.similacrecall.com and enter the code found on the bottom of the infant formula package to see if their product is included in the recall.
“Due to the long shelf life of these products, it is important for consumers to check their pantries for any recalled product,” said Tricia Tilley, Director, Division of Public Health Services. “Consumers should throw it away or return to the place of purchase for an exchange or refund.”
Cronobacter sakazakii is a bacterium found naturally in the environment and can live in dry foods, such as powdered infant formula, powdered milk, and starches. Cronobacter can cause diarrhea and urinary tract infections in people of all ages, but infection can be severe in infants and lead to blood stream infections (sepsis) or central nervous system infections like meningitis (inflammation of the membranes that protect the brain and spinal cord). The first symptoms of infection in infants usually include a fever, poor feeding, crying and irritability, and very low energy. Salmonella infection can also cause a febrile diarrheal illness.
Additionally, these products are approved formulas of the NH Women, Infants and Children (WIC) nutrition program. Families enrolled in the WIC Program who purchased any of the recalled formula should discard it immediately. All families with an infant enrolled in the New Hampshire WIC program, will receive communication from their WIC office informing them of the recall. Families with questions should call either their local WIC office or the State WIC office at 1-800-942-4321.
If your child is experiencing any of these symptoms, you should notify your child’s healthcare provider and seek medical care for your child right away.
The DHHS Division of Public Health Services continues to follow this outbreak closely, including investigation of any reported cases in close coordination with the CDC and the FDA, and will provide updates as they become available. To report a suspected illness associated with this investigation contact the DPHS Bureau of Infectious Disease Control at 603-271-4496.
For further information visit:
- FDA website: https://www.fda.gov/food/outbreaks-foodborne-illness/fda-investigation-cronobacter-and-salmonella-complaints-powdered-infant-formula-february-2022
- CDC website: https://www.cdc.gov/cronobacter/infection-and-infants.html
- Abbott recall notice: https://abbott.mediaroom.com/2022-02-17-Abbott-Voluntarily-Recalls-Powder-Formulas-Manufactured-at-One-Plant