Ministry of Health issues warning concerning powdered infant formulas manufactured by Abbott (Similac®, Alimentum® and EleCare®)

The Ministry of Health and Human Services (MoHHS), in response to an US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) advisory, is advising all local healthcare facilities, other local suppliers and the general public to discontinue the sale and/or use of certain batches of powdered infant formulas manufactured by Abbott, namely: Similac®, Alimentum® and EleCare®. These powdered formulas were manufactured at one of Abbott’s manufacturing facilities in Sturgis, Michigan in the USA. 

 The advisory results from a voluntary recall following consumer complaints related to the presence of the bacteria Cronobacter sakazakii or Salmonella Newport in infants who had consumed the powdered formulas. It is important to note that no Abbott liquid formulas, powder formulas, or nutrition products from other facilities are impacted by the recall. Consumers are advised not to use the recalled products if the 1st two digits of the code are 22 through 37 and the code on the container contains K8, SH or Z2 and the has an expiration date of April 2022 or later (see picture below). 

Food contaminated with Cronobacter sakazakii and Salmonella may not look or smell spoiled but can still make you sick. Cronobacter sakazakii is commonly found in the environment and a variety of areas in the home. The bacteria can cause rare bloodstream and central nervous system infections and has been associated with severe intestinal infection and blood poisoning, especially in newborns.  It can cause fever, poor feeding, excessive crying or low energy as well as other serious symptoms. Young children may also contract serious and sometimes deadly infections with Salmonella. They may experience short-term symptoms such as fever, headache, vomiting, nausea, abdominal cramps and diarrhoea.  

The MoHHS therefore implores all local healthcare facilities and other local suppliers to: 

  2. Immediately stop supplying the affected batches of the brands listed above. 
  4. Notify your overseas vendors. 
  6. Quarantine all remaining stock(s) of the identified brands for possible disposal by the Environmental Health Department. 

Additionally, the MoHHS wishes to implore consumers to verify if they have any of these products in their possession. If so, they should stop using the affected products immediately and contact their respective local suppliers. Consumers may contact the Environmental Health Department at 338-2142 for more information on how best to dispose of these powdered formulas. If your child displays any of the symptoms listed above, after consuming the recalled products, contact your healthcare provider as soon as possible. 

The MoHHS’ top priority is to ensure public health safety and will therefore continue to monitor this situation as investigations continue. 

For further information, please contact the MoHHS at 338-3072.  


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