Recall Issued For Gerber Baby Food Manufactured In Wisconsin
The voluntary recall was issued due to concerns about the potential for Cronobacter sakazakii contamination.
EAU CLAIRE, WI — Several shipments of baby food manufactured in Eau Claire, Wisconsin in January are being recalled due to concerns about the potential for Cronobacter sakazakii contamination.
The product, Gerber Good Start SoothePro powdered infant formula, was sold nationwide.
The Perrigo Company issued the recall voluntarily and “out of an abundance of caution,” according to a notice on the Food and Drug Administration website. None of the products distributed have tested positive for the bacteria, and no illnesses or deaths have been reported.
Cronobacter illnesses are rare, but infections in infants can be deadly. Last year, two babies died of Cronobacter illnesses and at least two others were sickened with Cronobacter illnesses, leading to an investigation at a Sturgis, Michigan, manufacturing plant, where formula consumed by the babies was manufactured.
Abbott Laboratories’ Sturgis plant was closed for weeks last spring following the reports of infants with Cronobacter illnesses who had consumed formula produced there. The company said at the time that a “thorough review of all available data” showed no evidence linking Abbott formulas to the illnesses.
The FDA did not say what prompted the recall of products produced at the Wisconsin plant. The germ could get into the formula if lids or containers are placed on contaminated surfaces, according to the CDC. Baby formula can become contaminated in manufacturing facilities, as well as in homes.
In the current recall, no other products produced at the Wisconsin plant are affected, according to the notice. The recalled products were manufactured Jan. 2-18, U.S. consumers who purchased the product after March 5 should check their lot numbers and immediately dispose of the product, the FDA said.
Affected lot numbers are:
Gerber Good Start SoothePro (12.4 ounce)
300357651Z – USE BY 04JUL2024
300457651Z – USE BY 05JUL2024
300557651Z – USE BY 06JUL2024
300557652Z – USE BY 06JUL2024
300757651Z – USE BY 08JUL2024
300857651Z – USE BY 09JUL2024
301057651Z – USE BY 11JUL2024
301057652Z – USE BY 11JUL2024
301157651Z – USE BY 12JUL2024
Gerber Good Start SoothePro (30.6 ounce)
301357652Z – USE BY 14JUL2024
301457652Z – USE BY 15JUL2024
301557651Z – USE BY 16JUL2024
Gerber Good Start SoothePro (19.4 ounce)
301557652Z – USE BY 16JUL2024I
Full refunds may be requested, and more information is available by calling the Gerber Parent Resource Center on behalf of Perrigo at 800-777-7690. People with specific health-related questions should contact their physician or other health care provider.
Cronobacter illnesses among infants less than a year old are often linked to powdered infant formula, according to the CDC. The bacteria, found naturally in the environment, can live in other dry foods as well, including powdered milk, herbal teas and starches, and survive for long periods in dry conditions.
Cronobacter is not commonly linked to human illnesses, but the germ can cause serious or fatal bloodstream and central nervous system infections, according to the CDC. The bacteria has also been associated with severe intestinal illnesses and blood poisoning (sepsis), especially in infants.
Infants most likely to become sick from infection include those younger than 2 months, who are most likely to develop meningitis if they get sick from cronobacter; premature infants; and infants with weakened immune systems because of illness or medical treatments, including chemotherapy for cancer.
Symptoms start with a fever and little interest in eating, excessive crying and very low energy. Some infants may have seizures, according to the CDC. If that happens, call an ambulance and get them to the hospital right away.
The CDC has a list of tips parents and caregivers can take to reduce the chance of a Cronobacter infection, including making sure all feeding items are properly cleaned, sanitized and stored. The agency advises breastfeeding for women who can.
Powdered formula isn’t sterile, but in most cases, it’s safe to mix the formula according to the instructions on the package. However, if babies are at a higher risk of infection, it’s a good idea to boil the water and mix in the formula immediately, and then let cool before feeding.
Liquid formula is sterilized during manufacturing, and that’s an option, too, the agency noted.