On February 17, 2022, Abbott Nutrition, recalled multiple powered baby formulas, including Similac, Alimentum, and EleCare, after multiple complaints of infant illnesses related to Cronobacter sakazakii and Salmonella Newport. On March 7, 2022, the recall was expanded. All of the infants were hospitalized and two cases appear to have resulted in the infant dying. Now there is concern that Abbott delayed the recall.
Abbott admitted that evidence of Cronobacter was found in its Sturgis, Michigan facility. In fact, the FDA learned about a potential link between Cronobacter and powdered milk manufactured by Abbott in September 2021. During this same time, the FDA inspected the plant where the formula was made and uncovered numerous violations intended to prevent this very type of contamination. Despite awareness, the public was only recently made aware. It seems evident that if the public was warned sooner, additional illnesses and deaths may have been prevented.
Cronobacter sakazaii is a germ that can live and thrive in dry foods such as infant formulas and powdered milk. It is also found in wastewater. While infant infections are rare (typically 2-4 infections per year), they are frequently lethal. Cronobacter usually causes sepsis or severe meningitis and can result in long-term neurological problems.
Salmonella Newport is a bacterial strain of Salmonella that can cause serious, life-threatening infections in children and is resistant to antibiotics. Once ingested, Salmonella invades cells of the intestine and impairs the immune response.
Necrotizing Enterocolitis (NEC)
In addition to these recent contamination issues, Abbott is also imbedded in controversy for marketing its cow’s milk-based formulas to premature infants despite being aware that these infants are at a significantly increased risk of developing necrotizing enterocolitis (NEC) form the products. NEC is a serious gastrointestinal condition that causes intestinal tissue death and may be fatal in as many as 50% of cases. It causes intestinal inflammation that may cause holes in the intestine. Despite these serious risks, Enfamil and Similac provide no warnings about NEC.
Our firm is investing cases of infant infection and injury after being fed baby formulas such as Similac or Enfamil. We offer free consultations and free case evaluations.