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Health Advisory Issued for Similac Alimentum and EleCare Powered Infant Formulas

The Rhode Island Department of Health (RIDOH) is advising consumers that federal health officials are investigating four infant illnesses related to products from an Abbott Nutrition facility in Sturgis, Michigan. All of the cases are reported to have consumed powdered infant formula from this facility. These illnesses include three Cronobacter sakazakii infections and one Salmonella Newport infection. All four cases related to these complaints were hospitalized and Cronobacter may have contributed to a death in one case. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is advising consumers not to use Similac Alimentum or EleCare powdered infant formulas if:

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.

The code is printed on the product packaging near the expiration date (see image of product label attached). Additional information on products made by Abbott Nutrition is available on their website.

These powdered infant formulas have the potential to be contaminated with Cronobacter, a bacterium that can cause severe foodborne illness primarily in infants. Cronobacter infections are rare but are especially high risk for newborn infants.

FDA has done an onsite inspection at the Michigan facility. Findings to date include several positive Cronobacter results from environmental samples taken by FDA, and adverse inspectional observations by FDA investigators. A review of the firm's internal records also indicate environmental contamination with Cronobacter sakazakii and the firm's destruction of product due to the presence of Cronobacter.

Products that do not contain the information listed above are not impacted by this advisory. This advisory does not include liquid formula products or any metabolic deficiency nutrition formulas.

More information on Cronobacter and infant formula is available on the website of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Cronobacter bacteria can cause severe, life-threatening infections (sepsis) or meningitis (an inflammation of the membranes that protect the brain and spine). Symptoms of sepsis and meningitis may include poor feeding, irritability, temperature changes, jaundice (yellow skin and whites of the eyes), grunting breaths, and abnormal movements. Cronobacter infection may also cause bowel damage and may spread through the blood to other parts of the body.

If your child is experiencing any of these symptoms, you should notify your child's healthcare provider and seek medical care for your child immediately.

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