5 Things You Need to Know About the Infant Formula Recall

June 21, 2022 General

Do you believe your baby may have ingested recalled infant formula? The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has recalled and investigated certain powdered infant formula products after four infants contracted severe bacterial infections.

The formulas came from one Abbott Nutrition manufacturing facility in Michigan, and the FDA warned parents in February of this year not to use the recalled products.

Stores no longer sell the recalled products since the February 17, 2022 FDA recall, so you don’t need to worry about purchasing more powdered formula for your infant. However, if you have Similac, Alimentum, and EleCare products, you should check the package to determine if the items are a part of the recall.

The possibility that your baby’s food could make them sick is scary for any parent. This article aims to inform concerned parents about the five most important things you need to know about the infant formula recall.

1. Powdered Infant Formula Products That the Recall Includes

The recalled powdered formulas are Similac, Alimentum, and EleCare products from the Abbott Nutrition facility in Sturgis, Michigan. These products were in stores across the U.S. and other countries.

Some recalled products are special formulas for medical issues, including gastrointestinal illness, severe allergies, and kidney problems. If you use Similac brand powdered formula, you should check the product before using it.

2. How to Tell If You Have the Recalled Formula

The FDA instructs parents to check the lot code on the bottom of the formula, which will look like a string of letters and numbers.

Do not use formulas if the following is true:

  • The lot code begins with numbers 22 through 37
  • K8, SH, or Z2 are anywhere in the code
  • The expiration date is on or after April 1, 2022

Additionally, Abbott Nutrition recalled Similac PM 60/40 with the lot code 27032K80 (can) or 27032K800 (case). If you’re unsure about the recall status of your formula, you can check the lot code on Abbott’s website.

3. About Cronobactor and Salmonella Infections and Symptoms

The recalled formulas may contain Cronobactor sakazakii and Salmonella Newport bacteria. Cronobactor infections are uncommon in infants but can cause life-threatening illnesses, including sepsis and meningitis (inflammation of the membranes around the brain and spine).

Symptoms of Cronobactor infections include:

  • Poor feeding
  • Abnormal temperature or movements
  • Yellow skin or eyes from jaundice
  • Grunting while breathing
  • Irritability

Salmonella may cause stomach and gastrointestinal illnesses that lead to severe diarrhea and dehydration.

Symptoms of Salmonella infections include:

  • High fever
  • Body aches
  • Headaches
  • Lethargy
  • Rash
  • Blood in urine or stool

Parents whose infant is experiencing these symptoms should immediately contact their child’s healthcare provider.

4. What to Do If the FDA Recalled Your Baby’s Formula

If the formula you use is on the recall list, stop feeding it to your baby immediately.

If you are using a powdered formula that a pediatrician prescribed to your baby for medical issues and the product is on the recall list, contact the doctor to see if they recommend alternatives.

5. Tips and Warnings About Finding Formula During a Shortage

The recall is happening during a shortage of formula due to the COVID-19 pandemic, so parents are worried about having access to the formula they need. Any reputable liquid formula and powdered formula not on the recall list are safe for consumption, but some babies require specialized formulas that are currently hard to find.

For some patients, the risk of not having these products may feel higher than consuming the recalled formula. If your baby requires a specialty formula to treat a severe medical condition, you may be able to receive the product directly from Abbott Nutrition despite the recall.

Parents who need access to these formulas can contact Abbott directly at 1-800-986-8540 (Puerto Rico: +1 787-622-5454). They will assess your case and release the product to you based on its availability and the severity of your child’s need.

The FDA warns parents not to dilute their infant’s formula and not purchase formula online because it could be counterfeit. For ongoing updates on the recall and investigation, please see FDA Investigation of Cronobacter Infections: Powdered Infant Formula.

Mass Tort Resource can assist you if your child has become sick after ingesting the infant formula that was contaminated with Salmonella and Cronobacter bacteria. Call us at 844-636-7459 or fill out our form for a free consultation. Mass Tort Resource also serves as an educational resource for attorneys handling or wishing to refer mass tort cases.