Residents are being advised not to use certain baby formulas made in the US and which may have been exported to Antigua and Barbuda.
The products being recalled are Similac, Alimentum, and 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.
Products that do not contain the information listed above are not impacted.
The warning came from the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) on February 17 and was circulated across Antigua and Barbuda by local medical officials yesterday.
The FDA is investigating consumer complaints of Cronobacter akazakii and Salmonella Newport infections. All of the cases are reported to have consumed powdered infant formula produced from Abbott Nutrition’s Sturgis, Michigan facility. Products made at the facility can be found across the US and were likely exported to other countries.
The FDA is investigating complaints of four infant illnesses from three states. All four cases related to these complaints were hospitalised and Cronobacter may have contributed to a death in one case. The FDA has initiated an onsite inspection at the facility.
“As this is a product used as the sole source of nutrition for many of our nation’s newborns and infants, the FDA is deeply concerned about these reports of bacterial infections,” said Frank Yiannas, FDA Deputy Commissioner for Food Policy and Response.
Cronobacter bacteria can cause severe, life-threatening sepsis or meningitis. 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.
Salmonella are a group of bacteria that can cause gastrointestinal illness and fever called salmonellosis. Most people with salmonellosis develop diarrhoea, fever and abdominal cramps.
More severe cases of salmonellosis may include a high fever, aches, headaches, lethargy, a rash, blood in the urine or stool, and in some cases, may become fatal.