Abbott Just Recalled Similac and Other Baby Formulas After Reports of Sick Infants

Abbott has expanded its baby formula recall to include another Similac product. Here's what parents and caregivers need to know right now.

If you’re a new parent, you might’ve found yourself asking lots of questions about formula: how much formula does a baby need? When can you stop giving formula? And of course, one of the most important ones: what formula should I use?

If you’re formula-feeding an infant right now, please check your pantry or kitchen. The FDA just issued a warning for parents not to use three baby formulas produced by Abbott: Similac, Alimentum and EleCare.

Why Was the Baby Formula Recall Issued?

Abbott issued the recall after four consumer complaints about infants infected by Cronobacter sakazakii and Salmonella Newport. The first can cause severe, life-threatening illness, while the latter is a type of salmonella, which can cause symptoms like diarrhea, fever and stomach cramps. As of February 28, another case of Cronobacter was reported. All five (four Cronobacter infections and one Salmonella Newport infection) illnesses resulted in hospitalization—and Cronobacter may have contributed to death in two patients.

While the company claims that products are thoroughly tested for quality and no cases of either bacteria have been found in distributed products, they have issued a recall. The cases were detected in Minnesota, Texas and Ohio.

How Do I Know If I Bought a Recalled Product?

The company issued a recall of products made at its Sturgis, Michigan facility. Here’s how to tell if you have a recalled container of Similac, Alimentum and EleCare:

  • the first two digits of the code are 22 through 37
  • the code on the container contains K8, SH or Z2
  • the expiration date is 4-1-2022 (APR 2022) or later

While cases so far have been confined to three states, the products were distributed across the US and internationally. If you’ve bought any Abbott formula recently, take a look to be sure it’s not been recalled. You can check the lot number of the product at the website set up by Abbott for the recall.

Update: On February 28, 2022, Abbott expanded its recall to include Similac PM 60/40 with Lot # 27032K80 (can) and Lot # 27032K800 (case). This formula is commonly used for infants who would benefit from lower mineral intake. Both lots were produced at the Sturgis, Michigan facility.

What Should I Do Next?

If you have a product affected by the recall, Abbott has urged consumers to not use it and visit the recall website for a refund or replacement. You can also reach Similac customer service at 1-800-986-8540.

The FDA has urged parents to not try using homemade formula. If you can’t access your regular formula, speak to your child’s doctor for recommendations and guidance.

Amrita Thakkar
Amrita is an Assistant Digital Editor at Taste of Home. As a writer and amateur photographer, she often ends up applying these skills to her one great love: food. She can usually be found researching global cuisines, at the farmers market, doing yoga, or looking up new places to travel to.