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Powdered Infant Formula Recall

NDDoH issues advisory to check powdered infant formula after the manufacturer announces voluntary product recall

BISMARCK, N.D. – The North Dakota Department of Health (NDDoH) issued an advisory for parents and caregivers to check their powdered infant formulas after manufacturer Abbott Nutrition issued a voluntary product recall on Thursday, Feb. 17, 2022.

Information Regarding Recalled Product

The recall comes after the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), along with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and state and local partners conduct investigations of four consumer complaints of infant illness related to products originating at Abbott Nutrition’s Sturgis, MI, location.

The investigation and recall are limited to powdered infant formula products that include the brand names Similac®, Alimentum®, and EleCare® and have:

  • Product code: First two digits are 22 through 37, and the code on the container contains “K8,” “SH,” or “Z2”
  • Expiration date: 4-1-2022 (APR 2022) or later

Abbott Nutrition has set up a website to help guide parents and caregivers through the steps of the recall at http://similacrecall.com, this includes a lot number-checker to confirm if the product is affected.

These products were widely distributed in the United States, including in the state of North Dakota. People who have the recalled product should stop using the product immediately.

Information for NDDoH WIC participants

Formula subject to the recall includes product that is supported by the NDDoH WIC program. The WIC program provides nutrition and education support to families, including supplemental financial support to purchase infant formula. WIC participants should save their affected product and contact their local WIC office regarding replacement formula.

Investigation and Symptoms of Illness

The FDA investigation includes three reports of Cronobacter sakazakii infections and one report of Salmonella Newport infection in infants. All four cases related to these complaints were hospitalized and Cronobacter may have contributed to a death in one case.

Cronobacter bacteria can cause severe, life-threatening infections (sepsis) or meningitis (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 is 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.

“Parents who have been using recalled products and notice any unusual behavior or illness in their infants are encouraged to contact their infant’s health care provider or seek medical care for their infant,” said Laura Cronquist, foodborne epidemiologist with the North Dakota Department of Health.  “Early diagnosis and treatment are important to prevent serious disease outcomes.”

The FDA will continue to update their investigation at: https://www.fda.gov/food/outbreaks-foodborne-illness/fda-investigation-cronobacter-and-salmonella-complaints-powdered-infant-formula-february-2022

What Parents and Caregivers Should Do

  • First, check any powdered infant formula for recall information. For assistance, you can call 800-986-8540 or visit similacrecall.com and enter the code from the bottom of the package.
  • If you confirm that you have affected the product, stop using this product immediately. You can discard the product or return it to the store. WIC participants should keep their product and contact their WIC office regarding replacement formula.
  • Parents and caregivers of infants who have used these products, and are concerned about the health of their child, should contact their child’s health care provider.
  • If you have used the affected product and your child is experiencing any of the above-outlined symptoms, you should notify your child’s health care provider and seek medical care for your child immediately.

For more information, contact:

North Dakota Department of Health Communications dohcommunications@nd.gov

 

www.health.nd.gov

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