Wisconsin DHS Health Alert #40: Similac, Alimentum, and EleCare Formula Recall

DHS Logo Original 07/11/2018

DHS Health Alert Network

Wisconsin DHS Health Alert #40: 

Formula Recall: Similac, Alimentum, and EleCare

Dear WIC Partners,

WIC would appreciate your assistance in sharing this important information out widely.

Last evening, Abbott Nutrition announced a voluntary recall of infant powdered formula manufactured at their Sturgis facility in Michigan, including Similac, Alimentum, and EleCare. This recall comes after four consumer complaints related to Cronobacter sakazakii and Salmonella. Parents and caregivers of infants who have used these products and have concerns about the health of their child should contact the child’s health care provider.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) alerted consumers to avoid purchasing and using infant powdered formula from Abbott Nutrition’s Sturgis, Michigan facility. The FDA is also investigating these consumer complaints of infections and has initiated an on-site inspection of the facility.

The FDA is advising consumers not to use Similac, Alimentum, or Elecare powdered infant formulas if the following is included in the product’s lot number:

  • 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.

Abbott has also developed a web-based tool to determine if the consumer’s product was included in this recall. Consumers can check their product’s lot number, located at the bottom of their product.

Please note that this is a targeted recall and does not affect all Abbott products.

  • The recall does not include liquid formula products or any metabolic deficiency nutrition formulas.
  • The FDA states that consumers should continue to use all products not covered by the advisory.
  • The FDA advises parents and caregivers to never dilute infant formula and to never make or feed homemade infant formula to infants.

Thus far, consumer complaints included four instances of infant illnesses across three states, including Minnesota, Ohio, and Texas. In all four cases, infants were hospitalized and Cronobacter may have contributed to death in one case. Abbott product manufactured in Michigan was distributed across the country. Cronobacter bacteria can cause life-threatening infections like sepsis or meningitis. Symptoms may include poor feeding, irritability, temperature changes, jaundice, grunting breaths and abnormal movements. Salmonella are a group of bacteria that can cause gastrointestinal illness and symptoms like diarrhea, fever, and abdominal cramps.

Please see the DHS website for more information for families and for contact information for if you have any further questions. 

Thank you.

Jasmine Zapata, MD, MPH, FAAP
Chief Medical Officer and State Epidemiologist for Community Health
Bureau of Community Health Promotion
Division of Public Health
Wisconsin Department of Health Services