Baby formula EleCare, Similac and Alimentum recalled amid possible contamination

A number of baby formula products have been recalled over fears they could be contaminated with salmonella or cronobacter and cause illnesses if consumed, which could potentially lead to death.
Victoria’s Department of Health issued the precautionary recall yesterday for the formula products EleCare, Similac and Alimentum, which are all manufactured in the US.

The recalled products have all the three factors below:

  • The first two digits of the product code are 22 through 37
  • The code on the container contains K8, SH or Z2
  • The expiration date is 1 April 2022 or later
Parents and carers can also enter the product lot code on the company’s website to check if it is part of the recall.
Urgent baby formula recall after possible contamination
There has been an urgent baby formula recall after possible contamination. (Today)

According to the health department, the baby formula brands can be purchased through prescription at pharmacies, hospitals and via direct mail order.

However, a spokesperson from healthcare company Abbott told the recall only impacted specific batches of EleCare in Australia, including EleCare Unflavoured 400g can (lot number: 26811Z200) and EleCare LCP 400g can (lot number: 27871Z202).

“No other nutrition products – or Similac products – distributed by Abbott in Australia are affected by this recall,” she said.

“Alimentum and Similac Human Milk Fortifier (HMF) are not sold by Abbott in Australia and these products are not available in Australia by prescription at pharmacies and hospitals.”

A food recall has been issued for three brands of infant formula: EleCare, Similac and Alimentum. (Supplied)

Chief Health Officer Professor Brett Sutton advised parents and caregivers to stop using the formulas as soon as another alternative can be purchased.

“Salmonella infection can present with fever, abdominal pain, vomiting and diarrhoea,” the advice read.

“Cronobacter infection in infants can present with fever, accompanied by poor feeding, crying, or very low energy.

“Cronobacter infection in infants can be fatal.”

Cronobacter infection can cause severe blood infections such as sepsis or meningitis and can cause death in babies.

The affected products have common identifying product codes and expiration dates. (Supplied)

Babies under two months of age, those born prematurely or immunocompromised are at higher risk of the infection.

The products are predominately for babies aged 12 months and under but can be used by older children with allergies as well.

Abbott, on its website, said it had decided to voluntarily recall the products after receiving four consumer complaints related to babies being ill from the formula.

“We conduct routine testing for Cronobacter sakazakii and other pathogens in our manufacturing facilities,” a statement read.

“During testing in our Sturgis, Michigan, facility, we found evidence of Cronobacter sakazakii in the plant in non-product contact areas.

“We found no evidence of Salmonella. This investigation is ongoing.”

Anyone concerned about their baby’s symptoms should immediately consult their doctor for advice.

Parents who have EleCare should call 1800 225 311 or email to find out if they have an impacted product.

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