How to keep your child safe after the Abbott baby formula recall

Three popular brands are being pulled off shelves because of a dangerous bacteria

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration is warning parents with newborns about a massive recall impacting three popular formula brands after four infants became sick.

Certain packages Abbot Nutrition’s Alimentum, Similac and EleCare powdered formulas are being pulled off shelves because of a dangerous bacteria.

An example of some Abbott Similac powdered baby formula included in the February 2022 recall. (Abbott)

The FDA is advising consumers not to use Similac, Alimentum, or EleCare powdered infant 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.

The voluntary recall comes after the company received four complaints of babies being hospitalized, one of whom died, according to the FDA.

Specific images showing which Abbot Nutrition products are included in the Feb. 2022 recall. (FDA)

Three of the complaints were for Cronobacter sakazakii, which can cause fever, poor feeding, excessive crying, low energy and other serious symptoms, according to the FDA.

One complaint was for Salmonella Newport, which can cause diarrhea, fever and abdominal cramps, along with other more severe side effects, including high fever.

[FDA: Do not use recalled infant formulas tied to infections]

Local pediatricians say there’s no need to panic, but that parents should stop using the product and keep an eye out for any signs of sickness.

The current recommendation is to not throw the product away. Doctors say the product may be replaced at a later time.

As for parents scrambling to find alternatives, LewisGale’s Dr. Russell Delaney said it shouldn’t be a problem.

“There’s lots of good choices out there that are going to grow your baby fine,” explained Delaney. “The tolerance question, that’s been a common one, and we’ve tried to direct parents to a comparable product.”

Abbott Nutrition said it’s tested samples of formula from the plant, as well as from the four complaints.

While all tests came back negative, the company says it found evidence of bacteria in the Michigan plant in non-product areas.

About the Author

Kortney joined the 10 News team as a Lynchburg Bureau Reporter in May 2021.

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