Product recall notices happen often, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t normal to feel anxious or concerned, especially when the product involves your child. Let’s go over some facts and frequently asked questions:
How do I check the label to know if my product was affected?
This recall does not affect all Abbott products. It only affects the specific powder products (liquid formulas are not impacted) that have the affected lot numbers.
The FDA is advising consumers not to use Similac, Alimentum or EleCare powdered formulas 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.
You can use an online tool to check if your product was affected. Navigate to similacrecall.com, click “Check lot number” and input the lot number found on the bottom of the formula’s packaging. It is near the expiration date.
What should I do if my product is affected by the recall?
If you are using formula from the impacted lot referenced above, you should stop using. Thankfully, only a very small number of children have become sick after drinking this product. However, you should still monitor your child to see if any symptoms develop.
What are Cronobacter sakazakii and Salmonella newport and who can get sick?
Cronobacter sakazakii is found naturally in the environment and can live in dry foods, such as powdered infant formula. Cronobacter can cause diarrhea and urinary tract infections in people of all ages. Young infants aged 2 months or younger maybe more likely to develop sepsis or meningitis. The first symptom of Cronobacter infection is usually a fever, accompanied by poor feeding, crying, or low energy. Infants should be seen promptly if these signs should develop. Other infants more likely to get sick are those born prematurely and those who are immunocompromised.
Salmonella newport is a bacteria that, like other Salmonella species, can cause outbreaks of foodborne illness. Salmonella species can cause diarrhea in people of all ages. Infants under 3 months of age are more at risk of developing more serious infections including meningitis, bone and blood infections. As with Cronobacter, infants should be seen promptly if they develop fever, particularly if it is associated with low energy or increased lethargy.
What are the symptoms I should look for?
Symptoms of infections caused by bacteria from the product could include changes in appetite, changes in mood (irritated or overly sleepy compared to baseline), fevers, rash, diarrhea, vomiting, yellow skin and whites of the eyes, grunting breaths and abnormal movements.
What should I do if my child is exhibiting symptoms?
If your child has been fed with the impacted formula and is experiencing symptoms that are different from their baseline, please call your pediatrician.
- Cronobacter is of particular significance in infants aged 3 months or younger as these patients are more likely to develop sepsis or meningitis.
- Other infants more likely to get sick are those born prematurely and those who are immunocompromised.
- The first symptom of Cronobacter infection in infants include a fever, accompanied by poor feeding, crying, or low energy.
- Should these symptoms develop, the infant should be taken for prompt evaluation by a medical provider.
Take your child to the emergency room if they are having difficulty breathing or having abnormal movements.
When is my child no longer at risk of becoming ill after being exposed to the recalled formula?
Infections with these bacteria are very rare, even in children exposed to the recalled formula. The vast majority of exposed children will never become ill.
We don't know the exact duration of risk after exposure to Cronobacter, but based on our experience with similar types of food- and formula-borne infections, most infected children will likely develop symptoms between 2-14 days after their exposure. It is unlikely that a child would become ill more than 2 weeks after exposure to this bacteria.
What do I do if I need a new formula?
Remember, this recall is only for specific lots of powder formula. You may continue to use the same brand of formula as long as it is not part of the affected lot.
If you purchased your formula from a store and not because of a specific recommendation from your baby’s pediatrician, then you can purchase an alternative product. (You may even choose the same brand, as long as it’s a different “lot”).
If your child's pediatrician recommended this product specifically for your child, then please reach out to the pediatrician for more guidance.
If you received your product through a pharmacy or medical supplier, you will need a new prescription from your pediatrician.
How do I contact the company if I would like a replacement or refund or to let them know about my experience?
You can also call your state’s FDA complaint office to talk to someone about your experience.