July 2, 2022

Timeline: Chronobacter Illnesses Linked to Infant Formula

The CDC, FDA, and state health departments are investigating Cronobacter illnesses among infants who consumed powdered baby formula. Between September 2021 and January 2022, four illnesses were reported -one from Minnesota, two from Ohio, and one from Texas. The two babies in Ohio died. Cronobacter is not a “reportable disease” nationwide. So, doctors and labs aren’t required to report these infections to their state health departments who then report them to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Minnesota is the only state in the country that requires reporting. The CDC does receive reports of Cronobacter, an average of three a year. It's just not required. So unlike illnesses from E. coli, Salmonella, or Listeria, the genetic fingerprint of the Cronobacter that made … [Read more...]

Similac Recall Includes Formula Made November 2020 to February 2022

Abbott Nutrition's recall of powdered infant formula includes Similac products made at the company's facility in Sturgis, MI over the 15-month period from November 1, 2020, to February 17, 2022, according to recall information the company provided to retailers. Because these dates are not mentioned in the company's public recall announcement, consumers may not be aware that formula they purchased for their infants more than a year ago is part of this recall. The length of the production window associated with the recall also raises questions about the results of the FDA's inspection of the plant. Abbott issued a recall for Similac, Alimentum, EleCare, and EleCare Jr on February 17, 2022, after the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced an investigation of … [Read more...]

CDC Cronobacter Investigation Widens, 2 Ohio Infants Dead

In a typical year, between two to four cases of Cronobacter are reported to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). But a current federal investigation that already includes two deaths in Ohio and two illnesses in Texas and Minnesota among infants who consumed Similac powdered infant formula has widened, according to the CDC. After the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced its collaborative investigation with the CDC and state partners of Cronobacter illnesses, and one Salmonella illness, in Ohio, Minnesota, and Texas, the CDC received additional reports of possible Cronobacter illnesses and another Salmonella illness. The agency is using whole genome sequencing tests to sort things out, Brian Katzowitz, a CDC spokesman, told Food Poisoning Bulletin this … [Read more...]

Minnesota Cronobacter Case Spurred Federal Investigation

In St. Louis County, MN, which encompasses the central and eastern portions of the Iron Range as it stretches from Duluth to the Canadian border, the leaves were reaching peak color when one of its newest and tiniest residents fell gravely ill. It was September 2021. The baby had developed a Cronobacter infection and would spend 22 days in the hospital successfully fighting it off. But because Minnesota is the only state in the nation that requires reporting of Cronobacter, which is known to cause severe, often fatal, infections in infants, that was not the end of the story. Reportable or notifiable diseases are considered to be of such great public health importance that when they are diagnosed they must be reported to state health officials who, in turn, report them to the … [Read more...]

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