Total Adverse Events: 4
Reported Deaths: 2
Illness Onset Date Range: 9/6/2021 – 1/4/2022
States with Adverse Events: MN (1), OH (2), TX (1)
Product Distribution: Nationwide and International
The FDA, along with CDC and state and local partners are investigating consumer complaints and/or reports of infant illness related to products from Abbott Nutrition’s Sturgis, MI facility. All of the ill patients are reported to have consumed powdered infant formula produced from Abbott Nutrition’s Sturgis, MI facility.
The Salmonella Newport illness previously included in this investigation of complaints and illnesses has been removed. In the early stages of this investigation, FDA included all consumer complaints of illness with exposure to products from the Sturgis, MI, facility. After further investigation, the FDA has determined that there is not enough information to definitively link this illness to powdered infant formula. CDC confirmed that this single Salmonella illness is not linked to an outbreak. The FDA and CDC are continuing to monitor for Salmonella cases and consumer complaints that may be related to this incident.
Cronobacter infection surveillance is not handled the same way as infection with more common foodborne pathogens, such as Salmonella or E. coli O157:H7. Cronobacter is not nationally notifiable and not reportable except in one state, which means doctors and labs are not required to report cases to their health department. Because Cronobacter is not a nationally notifiable pathogen, FDA relies on consumer complaints of illness sent to the Agency and on health care providers informing FDA directly about infants with Cronobacter infections. In addition, because Cronobacter is not nationally notifiable, whole genome sequencing (WGS) is rarely performed on these isolates. To date, no outbreaks of Cronobacter have been detected using WGS.
When single cases of Cronobacter are reported, the FDA conducts a thorough review of each complaint, conducts sampling of products, and initiates inspections as appropriate. FDA collaborates with CDC, which has developed a detailed questionnaire specifically for Cronobacter infections that is often used by state health departments in instances of Cronobacter sakazakii infection.
We understand that infant formula is the sole source of nutrition for many infants and is an essential product. FDA is working with Abbott Nutrition to better assess the impacts of the recall and understand production capacity at other Abbott facilities that produce some of the impacted brands. We are also working with Abbott Nutrition on safe resumption of production at the Sturgis, MI facility. FDA is continuing to investigate and will update this advisory should additional consumer safety information become available.
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 (see image below). 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.
In addition to products described above, Abbott Nutrition has recalled Similac PM 60/40 with a lot code 27032K80 (can) / 27032K800 (case). At this time, Similac PM 60/40 with lot code 27032K80 (can) / 27032K800 (case) are the only type and lots of this specialty formula being recalled.
The recall impacts Alimentum, EleCare, and Human Milk Fortifier for markets outside the U.S. No other Abbott Nutrition products distributed outside of the U.S. are affected by this recall. According to the firm, recalled products were distributed to the following countries/locations: Australia, Bahrain, Barbados, Bermuda, Canada, Chile, China, Colombia, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Egypt, Guam, Guatemala, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Israel, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Oman, Peru, Puerto Rico, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, South Africa, Sudan, Taiwan, Thailand, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, and Vietnam ANI South.