Recall of Similac Powdered Baby Formula

Infant Formula May Be Contaminated With Beetles

Reviewed by Laura J. Martin, MD on September 22, 2010

Editor's note: This recall happened in 2010. 

Sept. 22, 2010 -- Illinois-based Abbott Laboratories says it is recalling about 5 million containers of its top-selling Similac powdered infant formula due to possible contamination by beetles or larvae of the bugs.

Abbott spokeswoman Melissa Brotz tells WebMD that the product being recalled is sold in cans and plastic containers, and that only the powdered versions of the popular infant formula is involved in its “proactive” action.

Similac sold in liquid form is not part of the recall, Brotz says.

“We know that parents place a lot of trust in our Similac brands and delivering anything less than the highest quality infant formula to them is unacceptable to us,” she tells WebMD. “We will do whatever is necessary to maintain that trust in the coming weeks and months.”

Recalled Similac Could Cause Illness

The company said in a news release posted on the web site of the FDA that an internal quality review detected the “remote possibility of the presence of a small common beetle in the product produced” in one of its manufacturing facilities.

Abbott says the FDA had determined that while the formula containing the beetles “poses no immediate health risk, there is a possibility that infants who consume formula containing the beetles or their larvae could experience symptoms of gastrointestinal discomfort and refusal to eat as a result of small insect parts irritating the GI tract.”

A doctor should be consulted if symptoms persist for more than a few days, Abbott says.

It also says the powder infant formulas include Similac powder sold in plastic containers and certain product lines sold in 8-ounce, 12.4-ounce, and 12.9-ounce cans.

It says consumers desiring more information or to find out if they have the product in their possession should go the web site and type in the lot number. Or people may call 800-986-8850.

Abbott says it has begun an investigation into the issue.

Holger Liepmann, executive vice president of Abbott Nutrition, says in a news release it is taking steps to assure parents that the company’s products “meet the highest quality standards for which they are known.”

Liepmann also says the company regrets “any inconvenience this situation poses to parents and consumers.”

The plant involved is in Sturgis, Mich., Brotz says. The recall involves Similac products sold in the U.S., Guam, Puerto Rico, and other markets in the Caribbean.

Show Sources


News release, Abbott Laboratories (posted on FDA web site).

Melissa Brotz, spokeswoman, Abbott Laboratories, Abbott Park, Ill.

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