Some Similac baby formula recalled as CDC investigation grows

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration are investigating reports and complaints of childhood illnesses linked to infant formula from Abbott’s facility in Sturgis, Michigan.

The FDA said Monday that a child had consumed Similac PM 60/40 before contracting a Cronobacter sakazakii infection and dying. The agency said the infection “may have been a contributing cause of death” for the child.

Abbott recalled the formula with lot code 27032K800 on Monday. The company said that no product distributed has tested positive for the presence of Cronobacter sakazakii.

“We appreciate the trust parents place in us for safe, high-quality nutrition and we will do everything in our power to maintain that trust,” Abbott said in a statement emailed to CNN on Monday.

Other Abbott products should not be used if the first two digits of the lot code are between 22 and 37; the code on the container contains K8, SH or Z2; and the expiry date is April 1, 2022 or a later date.

There have been four reports of Cronobacter sakazakii infections in infants and one complaint of Salmonella Newport infection linked to products from the Sturgis facility, the FDA said. Each of the five infants was hospitalized and Cronobacter may have contributed to the deaths of two of them, the agency added.

“The recalls do not include liquid-formulated products,” the FDA said. “Consumers should continue to use any products not included in the recalls.”

Cronobacter bacteria can cause serious and life-threatening infections or inflammation of the membranes that protect the brain and spine. Symptoms include abnormal movements, grunting breaths, irritability, jaundice, lethargy, poor diet, skin rashes, temperature changes, or blood in the urine or stool, according to the FDA.

The reports come as the United States faces an infant formula shortage. Manufacturers said they are producing at full capacity and making more formulas than ever before, but it’s still not enough to meet current demand.

CNN’s Katherine Dillinger contributed to this report.

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