On February 17, 2022 Abbott voluntarily recalled Similac, Alimentum and EleCare powdered baby formulas that were manufactured at one of its plants in Michigan. Specifically, the company recalled the powder formula that was manufactured in that facility with an expiration date of April 1, 2022. The reason for the recall is due to concerns of coronobacter and salmonella infections reported in infants that have ingested these products.

Cronobacter bacteria can cause severe, life-threatening blood infections or meningitis, which is an inflammation of the membranes surrounding the brain and spine. Symptoms of this infection can include poor feeding, irritability, temperature changes, jaundice, grunting breathing and abnormal movements. It may also cause bowel damage and may spread through the blood to other parts of the body. Infants 2 months of age and younger are most likely to develop meningitis if they get sick from cronobacter.

Salmonella is a bacteria that typically causes gastrointestinal illness but can also lead to meningitis in infants and young children. Symptoms of this infection are similar to those listed above but can also include diarrhea, fever, abdominal cramps, high fever, aches, headaches, lethargy, blood in the urine and stool and can become fatal.

Abbott already seems to be formulating its defense by stating that all of their products must test negative for the cronobacter and salmonella pathogens before leaving their facility and none of their distributed products have tested positive for the presence of either bacteria. Yet, they admit they have found cronobacter in their facility. We also know that in some of the affected children there were no other exposures to these potentially deadly bacteria other than the powder formula.

The FDA announced it is investigating consumer complaints of cronobacter and salmonella infections in infants who ingested the formula. Specifically, the FDA is investigating complaints of four infant illnesses in the states of Minnesota, Ohio and Texas. The affected formula may have been distributed throughout the United States and other countries. Our firm has been contacted about potential cases in Missouri. In all of the cases investigated by the FDA, the infant-victims were hospitalized and one died.

As a result, the FDA is advising consumers not to use Similac, Alimentum and EleCare powdered infant formula carrying the April, 1 2022 date or later and that have certain codes on the container. The FDA has initiated an onsite inspection of Abbott’s Michigan facility, and findings to date include several positive coronobacter results and adverse inspectional observations. In addition, Abbott’s internal records show the company may have known about the contamination. Specifically, the FDA stated that a review of the firm’s internal records indicates contamination and destruction of product due to the presence of coronobacter. Again, as this is a product used as the sole source of nutrition for our newborns and infants, the FDA is obviously deeply concerned about these reports of bacterial infections.

Preuss Foster Law is currently investigating these cases. If you believe that you or a loved one has been affected by Similac or other types of baby formula, please contact us immediately. We are passionate about these extremely sad cases involving babies. We want to be there to help you and your family figure out what to do next as the science and the law unfold in these tragic cases.

In some situations, families who have purchased the recalled formula are being contacted by the retailer, but that does not mean that everyone who purchased the product will receive notice. Our firm is able to investigate whether you purchased product affected by these contaminates. If you have any questions, please contact us. We can help.

Which types of baby formula have been recalled?

According to the FDA:

Abbott Nutrition has recalled certain powdered infant formula products produced at its Sturgis, Michigan facility. Products from that facility can be found across the U.S. and some were exported to other countries. Here’s how you can tell if you have any of those products.

The FDA recommends consumers look at the lot code, a multidigit number on the bottom of a container of Similac, Alimentum and EleCare powdered infant formula and do not use if:

  • 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.