June 8, 2023

FDA: Infant Cronobacter Illnesses and Listeria Case Count Increases

Infant Cronobacter illnesses and a Salmonella Newport illness, along with a case count increase in the yet unidentified Listeria monocytogenes outbreak are on the FDA‘s CORE Outbreak Investigation Table. In addition, investigations into the E. coli O157:H7 outbreak linked to Simple Truth Power Greens packaged salad, the deadly Listeria monocytogenes outbreak linked to Dole packaged salads, and the deadly Listeria monocytogenes outbreak linked to Fresh Express packaged salads are still ongoing.

FDA: Infant Cronobacter Illnesses and Listeria Case Count Increases

Four infants have been diagnosed with either Cronobacter or Salmonella illnesses after allegedly being fed powdered infant formula produced by Abbott Nutrition. All of the infants were fed this formula before they got sick. And all four infants were hospitalized; Cronobacter may have contributed to one death.

An onsite FDA inspection at the company’s facility in Sturgis, Michigan has found several environmental samples that were positive for Cronobacter. In addition, “adverse inspectional observations” were made by FDA investigators. The FDA also reviewed the firm’s internal records, which indicate “environmental contamination with Cronobacter sakazakii and the firm’s destruction of product due to the presence of Cronobacter,” according to the report

Abbott Nutrition has voluntarily recalled Similac, Alimentum, and EleCare powdered infant formulas that have the first two digits 22 through 37, the codes K8, SH, or Z2, and an expiration date of April 1, 2022 or later.

The recall notice states that “no distributed product has tested positive for the presence of either of these bacteria, and we continue to test. Abbott conducts extensive quality checks on each completed batch of infant formula, including microbiological analysis prior to release. All finished products are tested for Cronobacter sakazakii, Salmonella Newport and other pathogens and they must test negative before any product is released. Additionally, retained samples related to the three complaints for Cronobacter sakazakii tested negative for Cronobacter sakazakii. And the retained sample related to the complaint for Salmonella Newport tested negative for Salmonella Newport.”

In the Listeria monocytogenes outbreak, a product has not yet been identified. There are now 14 illnesses, an increase of one more case since the last update on February 9, 2022. Traceback has been initiated, but no on-site inspection has been ordered, no samples have been collected, and no analysis has been started.

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