Abbot Laboratories announced a new the recall late last week of some of its popular items, including some Similac infant formulas and Pedialyte Electrolyte Solution products due to bottle deficiency. This latest recall is not due to bacterial contamination concerns, like the one that prompted the a massive voluntary recall earlier this year.
“These products are being recalled because a small percentage of bottles (less than 1%) in the recalled lots have bottle caps that may not have sealed completely, which could result in spoilage. If spoiled product is consumed, gastrointestinal symptoms such as diarrhea and vomiting may occur,” the company said in its statement to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
If the formula bottles aren’t properly sealed, it could spoil and cause babies to develop painful gastrointestinal symptoms (diarrhea and vomiting), according to Abbot. All of the products included this latest recall were manufactured at Abbott’s facility in Columbus, Ohio and doesn’t include any other powder or liquid formula brands or other nutrition products produced at the Columbus facility or any other manufacturing locations.
“This recall equates to less than one day’s worth of the total number of ounces of infant formula fed in the U.S.,” said Abbot. It is not expected to impact the overall US infant formula supply.
“We take our responsibility to deliver high-quality products very seriously,” Joe Manning, Abbot’s executive vice president, nutritional products, said in statement. “We internally identified the issue, are addressing it, and will work with our customers to minimize inconvenience and get them the products they need.”
To check the exact lot numbers impacted, visit similacrecall.com.
This is the latest in a series of issues for Abbot, the largest manufacturer of formula in the country. In February, fears of bacterial contamination after four infants were sickened led to a months long shortage of baby formula. President Joe Biden invoked the Defense Production Act in May to get more formula ingredients to manufacturers and created Operation Fly Formula, that utilized the military to fly in supplies of baby formula to the US from other countries.
While the shortage has improved in recent months, it still not completely over. A recent survey by the US Census Bureau finds that adults in roughly one-third of households with infant children who typically use formula had trouble finding it during the month of September. Additionally, about one in five of affected households had less than one week of formula on hand.
In September, the FDA released an internal report on the crisis, listing a number of issues including, “outdated data systems, insufficient emergency response systems capable of managing multiple public health emergencies, and lack of consumer education on how to handle and prepare infant formula.”
“The baby formula shortage was a perfect storm,” Jenelle Ferry, a neonatologist and director of feeding, nutrition, and infant development at Pediatrix Neonatology of Florida, told Popular Science last month. “You had a combination of COVID pandemic restrictions, supply chain issues, and now you’re involving a situation with a company [Abbott Nutrition] that is a major manufacturer of formula products.”