Federal health officials have revealed that Gerber baby formula, which had been recalled due to potential bacteria contamination, was still shipped to numerous retailers. The recall was initiated as a precautionary measure for specific batches of Perrigo’s Gerber Good Start SoothePro powdered infant formula produced at their Wisconsin facility. The recall notice was posted by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
After the recall announcement, Associated Wholesale Grocers Inc., a wholesaler supplying independently owned supermarkets, issued a warning stating that some of the recalled product had been sent to independent retailers in Alabama, Georgia, Indiana, Kentucky, Ohio, Tennessee, Virginia, and West Virginia.
Among the affected stores are Food Giant, Bellview Price Cutter, Booneville Shopwise, Campbell’s Market, Camron’s Foodliner, Cash Saver, Chappell’s Hometown, Country Mart, Food City, Food World, Foodland, and Woodruff’s Supermarket.
Consumers who possess any of the listed lot codes, as specified in the FDA warning notice, are advised to discard the product.
Perrigo, one of the prominent formula manufacturers in the United States, had announced in March that no distributed product had tested positive for the bacteria and no illnesses had been reported.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), cronobacter sakazakii, a germ commonly found in the environment, can thrive in dry foods like powdered infant formula. The CDC has noted that infections caused by cronobacter in infants under the age of one are often associated with powdered infant formula. While such infections are rare, they can be fatal for babies.
Earlier this year, Reckitt, another major US formula producer, recalled 145,000 cans of its baby formula due to potential cross-contamination with cronobacter sakazakii.
In a separate incident last year, Abbott, one of the four major US formula manufacturers, issued a recall for all its products at its Michigan plant following the FDA’s investigation into rare bacterial infections in four infants who consumed powdered formula from that facility.
Tragically, two of the infants died. Although it is uncertain whether the bacteria originated from the plant, Abbott has consistently stated that there is no definitive link between their products and the reported illnesses in children. Furthermore, all unopened containers of formula in the affected infants’ homes tested negative for Cronobacter sakazakii.
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