The baby formula shortage continues after Abbott Labs recalled Similac in February

Published: Apr. 25, 2022 at 6:54 PM CDT
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ODESSA, Texas (KOSA) - Abbott Labs issued a voluntary recall on Similac back in February of this year after learning about the death of a baby that tested positive for Cronobacter Sakazakii.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Cronobacter Sakazakii is a rare infection that can lead up to meningitis in infants 2 months or younger.

This germ can be found in dry foods, such as powdered infant formula, powdered milk, herbal teas, and starches.

If contracted, the first signs and symptoms in infants are having a fever, poor feeding, and very low energy.

Abbott’s recall on Similac PM 60/40 with the Lot # 27032k80 was manufactured in Sturgis, Michigan.

“...The action comes after learning of the death of an infant who tested positive for Cronobacter Sakazakii and who we were informed had consumed Similac PM 60/40 from this lot. this case is under investigation, and at this time the cause of the infant’s Cronobacter Sakazakii infection has not been determined. we want to extend our heartfelt sympathies to the family,” said Abbott Labs in a statement

A representative of the Odessa and Midland Women Infants and Children says they are guiding many of their clients across West Texas through these challenging times.

“Our WIC offices and staff have taken this issue and stride by trying to provide that same quality service to our clients and while this recall is obviously not an ideal situation, our staff has remained steadfast and trying to see our clients through this issue. They’re our first priority,” said Samantha Mendoza, Communications Director, South Plains Community Action Association.

The high demand for baby formula has left families scrambling to find other brands. Local grocery stores are now limiting the number of cans a customer can buy.

“It’s very stressful trying to, you know, find alternatives because I’m also spending more money on, you know, buying formula and if it doesn’t work, then you know, having to put that aside and buy something else. It’s very stressful,” said Catalina Lopez, mother.

The Food Industry Association knows that this recall is creating additional complications for food retailers in securing certain formulas.

“While consumers might not be able to find their preferred infant formula brand, the nation’s grocery stores are working to be sure all families have access to a safe, nutritious alternative option for their babies,” stated the FMI, The Food Industry Association.

“To be trying out different formulas is very stressful because it affects the baby. It affects their stomachs. It takes a couple of weeks for them to adjust to new formulas and it upsets their stomach, so you’re dealing with a cranky baby,” said Lopez.

Babies need a specific balance of nutrients, so Women Infants and Children and the American Academy of Pediatrics do not recommend making baby formula at home. They say using cows’ milk or over-diluted formula is not a safe option.

Abbott Labs says that you can find out if the product you have is included in this recall by checking the Lot number of your baby formula on Similac’s website.

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