National Recall: Infant formula

Food and Drug Administration officials are warning consumers to check supplies of infant formula that they may have on hand due to an ongoing investigation linking contaminated product manufactured by Abbott with illnesses and one death.

Abbott is recalling powdered infant formulas, including Similac, Alimentum and EleCare manufactured in Sturgis, MI, one of the company’s manufacturing facilities. Four infant illnesses and one death have been linked to the formula.

Abbott is recalling these products after consumer complaints of four instances of infections from Cronobacter sakazakii or Salmonella Newport in infants who had consumed powdered infant formula manufactured in this facility.

In one case, Minnesota Department of Health investigated illness of an infant who was sickened by Cronobacter sakazakii in September 2021. Minnesota officials discovered that the infant had consumed powdered formula produced at the Abbott facility in Sturgis; the infant was sickened in September and survived, but was hospitalized for 22 days.

Cronobacter bacteria can cause severe, life-threatening infections (sepsis) or meningitis (an inflammation of the membranes that protect the brain and spine). Symptoms of sepsis and meningitis may include poor feeding, irritability, temperature changes, jaundice (yellow skin and whites of the eyes), grunting breaths and abnormal movements. Cronobacter infection may also cause bowel damage and may spread through the blood to other parts of the body.

Salmonella are a group of bacteria that can cause gastrointestinal illness and fever called salmonellosis. Most people with salmonellosis develop diarrhea, fever and abdominal cramps. More severe cases of salmonellosis may include a high fever, aches, headaches, lethargy, a rash, blood in the urine or stool, and in some cases, may become fatal.

Advice to consumers: The FDA is advising consumers not to use recalled Similac, Alimentum, or EleCare 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.

Additional recall information is available on the FDA website. Parents can also enter their product lot code on the company’s website to check if it is part of the recall.