Infant formula products available across Australia have been recalled amid concerns of potential contamination.
The formula products are manufactured in the US, but have been available in Australia through prescription at pharmacies, hospitals and via direct mail order. According to the Victorian Department of Health, the products are mainly for babies aged up to 12 months, but can also be used by older children with allergies.
Abbott Australasia Pty Ltd and Abbott US says it’s conducting a precautionary recall of some EleCare, Similac and Alimentum infant formula products manufactured in Abbott’s Sturgis plant in the United States.
The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) says its investigating consumer complaints of Cronobacter sakazakii and Salmonella Newport infections.
“The FDA is investigating complaints of four infant illnesses from three states,” The FDA said in a statement. “All four cases related to these complaints were hospitalised and Cronobacter may have contributed to a death in one case. The FDA has initiated an onsite inspection at the facility. Findings to date include several positive Cronobacter sakazakii results from environmental samples taken by the FDA and adverse inspectional observations by the FDA investigators. A review of the firm’s internal records also indicate environmental contamination with Cronobacter sakazakii and the firm’s destruction of product due to the presence of Cronobacter.”
Australian baby formula recall
The recalled products can be identified by the 7 to 9 digit code and expiration date on the bottom of the package (see images). 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 1 April 2022 (APR 2022) or later
Problem: The recall is due to potential microbial contamination (Cronobacter and Salmonella).
Food safety hazard: Food products contaminated with Cronobacter or Salmonella may cause illness if consumed.
Country of origin: United States
What to do: Parents and caregivers should change to a suitable alternative product as soon as possible. Cease feeding the affected product once an alternative has been sourced. Medical advice on alternative products can be sought from your treating doctor.
The Victorian Department of Health has provided the following recommendations:
- Change to a suitable alternative product as soon as possible.
- Cease feeding the affected product once an alternative has been sourced.
- Anyone concerned about their baby’s symptoms should consult their doctor for advice without delay.
- Medical advice on alternative products is recommended. Alternative products that may be recommended by doctors or pharmacists.
- Community pharmacists are asked to assist parents/carers to identify and source suitable alternative formula products.
- Parents and carers can also enter the product lot code on the company’s website to check if it is part of the recall.
- Parents/carers may return the recalled product to the place of purchase for a full refund once an alternative product has been sourced.
For further information please contact: Abbott Australasia Pty Ltd, Customer Service Number: 1800 225 311We may get commissions for purchases made using links in this post. Learn more.