Over 657,000 infant formula cans recalled over potential bacteria contamination

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(NEW YORK) — Over 675,000 cans of baby formula are being recalled for possible bacterial contamination, the company announced.

Reckitt and Mead Johnson Nutrition, the makers of Enfamil and Nutramigen, announced Saturday it was voluntarily recalling cans of Nutramigen Hypoallergenic Infant Formula Powder, a specialty formula given to infants with cow’s milk allergy, following product sample testing outside of the U.S.

“When we were alerted in December to a potential for cross-contamination in product samples outside the U.S., both Reckitt/Mead Johnson and the US FDA tested samples from the batch in question and all tests came back negative,” a Reckitt and Mead Johnson Nutrition spokesperson told ABC News in a statement. “However, Reckitt/Mead Johnson understands the incredible responsibility we have in providing what is often the sole nutrition for infants, and there can be no short cuts for this vulnerable population – therefore, we chose to recall select batches of Nutramigen out of an abundance of caution.”

“Parents should be reassured that they can continue to feed their infants with Reckitt/Mead Johnson Nutrition products, including other Nutramigen powder formula batches, with confidence,” the spokesperson added.

Currently, only Nutramigen Hypoallergenic Infant Formula 12.6 and 19.8 oz cans made in June 2023 are included in the recall. Reckitt said Nutramigen’s liquid formulas and their other nutrition products are not impacted by the recall.

The infant formula cans are being recalled due to possible contamination of Cronobacter sakazakii, a type of bacteria often found in dry goods such as powdered milk, infant formula and herbal tea, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the same type of bacteria behind past baby and infant formula recalls, including Abbott’s recall that shut down their Sturgis, Michigan plant in 2022.

The CDC notes that cronobacter sakazakii infection is rare but can be especially dangerous for babies under 2 months, premature babies and babies with weakened immune systems, as well as older adults over the age of 65. Cronobacter sakazakii infections in babies can potentially cause fever, very low energy, difficulty feeding, seizures, inflammation around the brain and spinal cord, and can be life-threatening.

Reckitt and Mead Johnson Nutrition said they have not received any reports of illnesses.

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