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Baby formula recall: What you need to know

Three popular infant formula brands, Similac, Alimentum and EleCare, from one Michigan plant, have been recalled after they were linked to infections.

Three popular powdered infant formulas from one Michigan plant were recalled on Thursday after reports that one baby died and three others were hospitalized after consuming them.

The news may have come as a shock to parents of new babies. But, before you throw away all the formula in your cupboard, here's everything you need to know about the recall.

What's wrong with the formula?

The Food and Drug Administration said one of the cases involved salmonella and three involved Cronobacter sakazakiim, a rare but dangerous germ that can cause blood infections and other serious complications.

Which baby formula brands should be thrown out?

The recall affects certain lots of Similac, Alimentum and EleCare with expiration dates of April 1, 2022, or later. The product was distributed throughout the U.S. and overseas, formula maker Abbott said in a statement.

Where did the contaminated infant formula come from?

Investigators recently linked the three popular powdered infant formulas manufactured at an Abbott plant in Sturgis, Michigan to bacterial contamination. So, the company is recalling all potentially affected formulas that came from the plant.

The FDA says on top of environmental samples testing positive for the Cronobacter bacteria at the Michigan plant, inspectors also uncovered potential manufacturing problems and past records showing the destruction of formula due to bacterial contamination. 

What should parents do?

Abbott said parents can identify the recalled products by examining the number on the bottom of each container. The affected formulas have a number starting with 22 through 37, contain K8, SH, or Z2 and have an expiration date of April 1, 2022, or later. The company has also set up a website where parents can check if their products have been recalled.

The recall does not affect liquid infant formulas or any other Abbott products.

Credit: FDA
An image of the bottom of the infant formula cans showing what codes and dates to look for in the recall.

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