After learning of the case of four infants hospitalized for an infection acquired after consuming powdered milk formula, and two of the children died, the agency of the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA, for its acronym in English), took precautionary measures, and asked to withdraw the product from the market.
“Consumer complaints of ‘Cronobacter sakazakii’ and ‘Salmonella Newport’ infections are being investigated. It is reported that all cases consumed powdered infant formula produced in the facilities of Abbott Nutrition laboratories. Findings to date include several positive results for ‘Cronobacter sakazakii’ from environmental samples taken by the FDA and adverse inspection observations made by FDA investigators,” the agency said in its statement.
The statement reads:
On February 28, the CDC announced an additional case of Cronobacter sakazakii illness from exposure to powdered infant formula produced at the Abbott Nutrition facility in Sturgis, Michigan. Cronobacter infection may have been a contributing cause of this patient’s death. In total, this investigation includes four reports of Cronobacter sakazakii infections in infants (three reports to the FDA and one case report from CDC investigations) and one report of Salmonella Newport infection in an infant. All five cases of illness (four Cronobacter infections and one Salmonella Newport infection) resulted in hospitalization, and Cronobacter may have contributed to the deaths of two patients.
The most recent patient was reported to have consumed Abbott Nutrition’s Similac PM 60/40 product with lot code 27032K800 prior to Cronobacter sakazakiiI infection. The FDA and CDC informed the company of these findings, and on February 28, 2022, Abbott Nutrition voluntarily recalled Similac PM 60/40 powdered infant formula with lot code 27032K800. This is a special formula for certain babies who would benefit from lower mineral intake and was not included in the previous recall. At this time, Similac PM 60/40 formulation lot code 27032K80 (can) / 27032K800 (container) are the only type and lots of this special formulation being recalled.
As reported by Telemundo, the FDA asked Abbott laboratories to withdraw the product from the brand Similac PM 60-40 produced in a Michigan factory, after these babies consumed the milk and acquired a bacterial infection.
“As a product used as the sole source of nutrition for many of our nation’s newborns and infants, the FDA is deeply concerned about these reports of bacterial infections,” were the words of Frank Yiannas, who is the current deputy commissioner Food Policy and FDA Response.
The highest health agency reported that one of the minors died from the bacteria Cronobacter sakazakiimuno, and mentioned that another case concerns salmonella bacteria. In the statement on Monday, February 28, the agency that investigates another child death by Cronobacter sakazaki imuno.
“The patient had consumed Abbott Nutrition’s Similac PM 60/40 product with lot code 27032K800 prior to Cronobacter sakazakii infection,” the FDA said of this case.
While Commissioner Yiannas referred to the parents giving them a piece of calm, arguing that the manufacturers of this company’s powdered milk formulas are being directly investigated to avoid future effects on infants.
“We want to assure the public that we are working diligently with our partners to investigate complaints related to these products, which we acknowledge include infant formula produced at this facility, while working to resolve this safety issue as quickly as possible,” he said.
It should be noted that the Abbot laboratory, in response to the complaints filed, on February 18, as a preventive measure, withdrew from the market powdered milk formulas for babies manufactured in the Michigan factory under the Similac, Alimentum and EleCare brands. .
What were the milks withdrawn from the market?
The FDA ordered the withdrawal of batches of milk Similac PM 60/40 with batch code 27032K80 (can) / 27032K800 (box), which were distributed in the United States and Israel.
Likewise, it established that the previously withdrawn formulas are the batches of Similac, Alimentum and EleCare that meet these criteria:
• The first two digits of the code are from 22 to 37.
• Package code includes K8, SH or Z2.
• The expiration date is 4-1-2022 (APR 2022) or later.
On bacterial diseases, the agency explained the following:
Cronobacter is a bacteria that can cause serious and life-threatening infections (sepsis) or meningitis (an inflammation of the membranes that protect the brain and spine).
In addition, he noted that symptoms of sepsis and meningitis can include poor appetite (poor eating), irritability, temperature changes, jaundice (yellowing of the skin and whites of the eyes), labored breathing, and abnormal movements. He also pointed out that Cronobacter infection can also cause intestinal damage and can spread through the blood to other parts of the body.
On Salmonella, he said it is a group of bacteria that can cause a gastrointestinal illness and fever known as salmonellosis, and that most people with salmonellosis develop diarrhoea, fever and abdominal cramps. He stated that the most serious cases of salmonellosis can include high fever, body aches, headaches, lethargy, rash, blood in the urine or stool, and in some cases can be fatal.
Many mothers are worried: there are children affected
In Houston there is the case of baby Luca, who began to present symptoms that took him to the hospital in February: “With everything that was happening, I didn’t want to risk it and went to the hospital. Luca was restless, he didn’t want to drink his milk and his temperature rose to 105 degrees, he was vomiting and had diarrhea. They (the authorities) already suspected that there were bacteria, ”said Ashely Jove, mother of baby Luca who spent more than a week in a local hospital, according to what she told Univisión.
“Why didn’t they do a voluntary recall then? If they had, those four babies would not have been hospitalized and maybe the only two babies that have died could still be here,” Jove continued.
The woman told Univisión 45 that the doctors have not wanted to confirm that powdered milk was the exact reason for her son’s reaction.
“There was already a shortage and this left many mothers with limited options to feed our babies, I was lucky that my neighbor has been donating her breast milk for my son Luca. Even if Similac has returned the money, it doesn’t make sense if the other formulas have run out, what can parents do? They really have to be held accountable!” the woman finally stated.
For her part, Maricela Abarca, mother of the 10-month-old baby Eric, told Univisión 45 that upon knowing the batch numbers that were withdrawn the second week of February, she checked what her baby had consumed and the numbers agreed.
“The other day I was curious and I saw the numbers and the milk that my baby had drunk was one of those, he had already finished it and there was no damage, but I start to think how many people it affected and since when has this been , perhaps I gave him milk that could have been damaged and without knowing it, it is scary and one feels bad, although it is not one’s fault, “added the mother.
She embraces, agreeing that the shortage of the product is also affecting her, pointed out that it is not so easy to change the type of food that her son consumes: “It’s scary because they are at a stage where if you don’t give him the formula, there is another alternative, you cannot give him gallon milk because it hurts him, “he concluded.
According to Univisión, the mothers said that to identify if the milk their children drink is one of those affected, you can enter Similac Recall and enter the batch number.
If it is damaged, then you have to return it to where you bought it: “Right now we have the authorization to change up to two cans of the damaged product that has been withdrawn from the market,” said Mayra Rodríguez, manager of Grocery Services.
Meanwhile, the Houston Health Department indicated that affected families who are part of the WIC program can switch to these similar formulas, although it is always good to check with your child’s pediatrician and not venture to give him any other product. .
Finally, when consulting Walgreens and CVS pharmacies, they said that if you have one of the cans that have been recalled you can exchange them at any of their stores, but finding a replacement will not be easy because this problem is compounded by the problem of formula shortages due to delays in the supply chain.
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