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Emfamil maker recalls 145,000 cans of plant-based baby formula over contamination fears

Seized Baby Food (ASSOCIATED PRESS)
Seized Baby Food (ASSOCIATED PRESS)

The maker of Enfamil announced a recall of about 145,000 cans of infant formula due to the possibility of cross-contamination with a bacteria that can cause serious illness or death.

Reckitt, a UK-based consumer health and nutrition company, said over the weekend that is voluntarily recalling two batches of Enfamil ProSobee Simply Plant-Based Infant Formula, but that no illnesses or “adverse events” have been reported. The company said it identified the cause of the potential cronobacter contamination and are no longer using the supplier.

According to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, cronobacter infections in infants can be deadly. The bacteria occurs naturally in soil, water and other parts of the environment and can live in dry foods, such as powdered milk, herbal teas, starches and baby formula.

Almost all previous outbreaks in the US have been linked to powdered baby formulas, which don’t undergo the same high temperatures used to kill germs in many other foods. Cronobacter typically causes fever in infants and can sometimes lead to dangerous blood infections or swelling of the brain.

Last year, a nationwide baby formula shortage was triggered by an Abbott Nutrition plant that had to be closed for months because of contamination problems.

Abbott recalled various lots of three powdered infant formulas from the plant, after federal officials began investigating rare bacterial infections in four babies who were fed formula. Two of the infants died. But it’s not certain the bacteria came from the plant; strains found at the plant didn’t match the two available samples from the babies.

For the most recent recall, consumers should check the packaging of their formula to make sure they didn't purchase the recalled product. The product is Enfamil ProSobee Powder, 12.9 ounce can with a UPC number of 300871214415; global batch number of ZL2HZF or ZL2HZZ; lot number of 0670975 or 0670979 and an expiration date of March 1, 2024.

Consumers can return the product to wherever they bought it for a full refund. They can also call Reckit at 1-800-479-0551 or email the company at consumer.relations (at) rb.com.