Baby formula recall puts parents on edge. Here’s what to look out for.
Health officials are warning parents not to use three popular powdered infant formulas manufactured at an Abbott plant in Michigan that investigators recently linked to bacterial contamination.
"I've had a lot of my own patients call me this morning asking me what formulas they should be changing to. Do I need to see their baby right away? Parents are really scared,” says Dr. Katherine Doyle of Princeton Nassau Pediatrics.
The Food and Drug Administration said it is investigating four reports of infants who were hospitalized after consuming the formula, including one who died. The agency said one of the cases involved salmonella and three involved Cronobacter sakazakiim, a rare but dangerous germ that can cause blood infections and other serious complications.
"These bacterias can cause very dangerous infections, so we worry about meningitis, which is in a section of the membranes around the brain and the spinal cord. We worried about sepsis,” Doyle says. "For salmonella, we also worry about an infection in the gastrointestinal tracks."
Abbott, one of the country's largest infant formula makers, said it is recalling all potentially affected products manufactured at the facility. The recall affects certain lots of Similac, Alimentum and EleCare with expiration dates of April 1, 2022, or later. The product was distributed throughout the U.S. and overseas, the company said in a statement.
What should parents look out for?
“You're looking for poor feeding, if the baby is very tired, lethargic. If the baby is having abnormal movements or if there is high fever or temperature or even the baby has a low temperature,” says Doyle. “We're also looking for vomiting, diarrhea if the baby's not making as much urine output."
Doyle says that parents can always call their pediatrician if their child was on those formulas and they are concerned. She also suggests switching to a generic version until more information about the recall is released.
The Associated Press wire services contributed to this report.
To find out if the product you have is included in this recall, visit similacrecall.comExternal Link Disclaimer and type in the code on the bottom of the package, or call +1-800-986-8540 (U.S.) and follow the instructions provided. No action is needed for previously consumed product.
If you have questions about feeding your child, contact your healthcare professional.Some product was distributed to countries outside the U.S. A list of these products can be found at similacrecall.com.