5/17/22 blog post
impacted by the formula recall? follow these tips
resources for families
On February 17, 2022 Abbott issued a voluntary recall of certain Similac®, Alimentum, Sim PM 60/40®, and EleCare® powdered formulas due to consumer complaints related to Cronobacter sakazakii or Salmonella Newport in infants who consumed powdered infant formula manufactured at their facility in Sturgis, Michigan. Families are encouraged to enter product lot codes on Abbott’s website to identify if the formula they have is part of the recall. Recalled products can be returned in original containers to the retailer where they were purchased from. If the product was not obtained from a retail store, families are able to complete the online form on Abbott’s website to initiate the refund process. Because of this recall, along with supply chain problems, many parents are struggling to find formula for their child.
tips on finding formula
Since the recall only impacted powdered forms of formulas, some liquid formulas are available and may be found on store shelves. There may also be other brands of formulas available that will meet your baby's needs. You can work with your pediatrician or managing care team to direct you in finding alternatives that would meet your baby's specific needs.
Most healthy infants tolerate a change in brand of formula well, only have slight changes in gassiness or stool that may resolve over several days. If you are concerned about switching brands and have enough formula on hand, you can transition slowly over a few days by gradually increasing the amount of the new formula to each feeding over 2-3 days. You can view possible substitutions for recalled formulas here.
Families receiving formula from WIC (the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children) may need to contact other WIC-accepting stores or pharmacies in your area if your usual location is unable to provide formula at this time. By downloading the WIC Shopper App, caregivers are able to search for other stores accepting WIC. You can also click here for the WIC alternative formula list.
Families have also noted difficulties finding other powder formulas that are typically available on store shelves including formula for premature infants and hypoallergenic formulas. Contact your child’s primary care physician (GI physician if applicable) or dietitian if you continue to have problems finding your child’s formula. It is recommended to reserve hypoallergenic formulas for infants that have a medical need for them.
resources for finding hypoallergenic and amino acid-based formulas
Elecare, Elecare Jr, Alimentum powder
Neocate Syneo, Neocate Infant DHA/ARA, Neocate Jr, Neocate Splash
Alfamino Infant, Alfamino Jr
Equacare Jr, Essential Care Jr
PurAmino DHA & ARA, Nutramigen, Pregestimil
formula handling and storage
Safe preparation and storage of formula is important when feeding your child to help prevent contamination. Following these guidelines can help!
- Wash your hands thoroughly before preparing your child's formula
- Ensure appropriate cleaning, sanitizing and storage of bottles
- Use liquid formula when possible
- Prepare and store powdered infant formula safely
Please refer to the CDC recommendations for more in-depth guidance on formula preparation and storage.
frequently asked questions
Can I make my own formula?
The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) warns parents NOT to make or provide homemade infant formula. Homemade formulas may not have the right levels of certain nutrients and could be too much or too little for your baby, which could cause nutrient imbalances that may be harmful.
Can I feed my baby regular milk instead of formula?
Cow's milk is not recommended until your child is 1 year of age (or corrected age if your child was born prematurely). Using goat's milk or raw/unpasteurized cow’s milk is not safe due to the potential for bacteria present (such as E. coli, Listeria, or Salmonella) which can be harmful for anyone: babies, children and adults included! Do not provide non-dairy cow’s milk alternatives such as almond, soy, coconut, or oat milks. These options are not safe for infants and do not provide the right nutrition for your baby.
What other options do I have if I can't find formula for my baby?
If you are not able to find formula for your baby, contact the Ohio Health Mother's Milk Bank at 614-566-0630. The milk bank may be able to provide donated human milk as an alternative to formula.
You can also talk to your child's pediatrician about introducing gsolid food if your infant is older than six months. Older infants who are ready for, or are taking solids already, begin to have some of their nutritional needs met by food such as fortified infant cereal, fruits, vegetables, and pureed baby meat. Infants still need formula for the first year of life, however they may not need as much as they did in their first 6 months of life.
for additional support
To schedule a nutrition clinic appointment with one of our dietitians, click here.
If you are providing a combination of breast milk and formula and would like to try to increase breast milk supply, you can make an appointment in our lactation clinic by clicking here.