What Parents Should Know About Powdered Infant Formula and its Association with the Bacteria Cronobacter sakazakii
Parents feeding powdered infant formula to their babies are likely distressed about the recent news that Wal-Mart has pulled a popular powdered infant formula brand from their shelves because of possible contamination by bacteria called Cronobacter sakazakii (formerly Enterobacter sakazakii). This is a rare bacteria and is extremely dangerous to infants less than 28 days old. There are several important facts about all powdered formulas that parents need to know:
Powdered infant formulas are not commercially sterile. Only liquid ready-to-feed infant formula is commercially sterile.
Past research has proven that there is a direct link between powdered infant formula as it is manufactured and the contaminant, Cronobacter sakazakii (previously known as Enterobacter sakazakii).
There have been past cases of baby death and severe baby illness due to Cronobacter sakazakii ingestion.
This bacteria is not commonly found in the environment. In other words, you will not commonly find Cronobacter sakazakii on your kitchen counters like some other bacteria.
Parents and other caregivers preparing bottles for their babies will not commonly introduce Cronobacter sakazakii into your baby’s formula. However, proper preparation and safe handling of formula is critical for other reasons, and as always, safe formula preparation practices must be used.
Lommen Abdo Assists Infants Killed or Seriously Harmed by the bacteria Cronobacter sakazakii (previously known as Enterobacter sakazakii) Found in Powdered Infant Formula
Cronobacter sakazakii, associated with powdered infant formula, is a deadly bacterial pathogen that can cause death and serious illness in infants when ingested. Neonates, infants age 28 days or less, are specifically at risk. Cronobacter sakazakii has been directly associated with powdered infant formula and its manufacture. This association is not well known by consumers, nor is it well known that powdered infant formula is not commercially sterile.
When Cronobacter sakazakii is introduced into the body by feeding, because of the qualities of this rare bacterial pathogen and the susceptibilities of newborns, a “perfect storm” is created and disastrous effects can result when the bacteria infects the brain, possibly developing into bacterial meningitis. Infants who suffer from bacterial meningitis can suffer from severe brain damage and death. Many infants who develop bacterial meningitis need lifelong care including brain shunts. Infants infected can also suffer from epilepsy and other cognitive and developmental delays and disorders.
Lommen Abdo assists infants and their families injured by contamination of nutritional products including powdered infant formulas by Cronobacter sakazakii. Lommen Abdo currently has several cases in suit in various federal court jurisdictions across the country.
If you have questions about illness arising from the use of powdered infant formulas, contact Steve Rathke at 612-336-9305 or firstname.lastname@example.org or Kate Westad at 612-336-9322 or email@example.com.
We have created the following resource list for parents wanting to know more about Cronobacter sakazakii and the correct handling of powdered formulas:
Microbial Detection of Enterobacter sakazakii: Food and Clinical
Health Professionals Letter on Enterobacter sakazakii Infections Associated With Use of Powdered (Dry) Infant Formulas in Neonatal Intensive Care Units - April 11, 2002; Revised October 10, 2002
FDA Warns About Possible Enterobacter Sakazakii Infections in Hospitalized Newborns Fed Powdered Infant Formulas - Warning Does Not Apply to Liquid Forms of Infant Formula
Isolation and Enumeration of Enterobacter sakazakii from Dehydrated Powdered Infant Formula, July 2002; Revised August 2002 http://www.fda.gov/Food/FoodIngredientsPackaging/FoodContact
FDA 101: Infant Formula
Investigation of Cronobacter Bacteria Illness in Infants
Enterobacter sakazakii Infections Associated with the Use of Powdered Infant Formula - Tennessee, 2001
Cronobacter Species Isolation in Two Infants - New Mexico, 2008
Bowen AB, Braden CR. “Invasive Enterobacter sakazakii disease in infants.” Volume 12, Number 8 - August 2006; Author affiliations: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, Georgia, USA
Invasive Enterobacter sakazakii
Disease in Infants
Anna B. Bowen* and Christopher R. Braden*
FAO /WHO “Safe preparation, storage and handling of powdered infant formula.” (2007)
FAO/WHO “Enterobacter sakazakii and other microorganisms in powdered infant formula: meeting report.”(Microbiological Risk Assessment Series No. 6, 2004, Enterobacter sakazakii and other micro-organisms in powdered infant formula) http://www.fao.org/docrep/007/y5502e/y5502e00.htm
FAO/WHO “Enterobacter sakazakii and Salmonella in powdered infant formula: meeting report. (Microbiological Risk Assessment Series No. 10, 2006, Enterobacter sakazakii and other micro-organisms in powdered infant formula) http://www.who.int/foodsafety/publications/micro/mra10/en/
FAO/WHO “Enterobacter sakazakii (Cronobacter spp.) in powdered follow-up formula: meeting report. (Microbiological Risk Assessment Series No. 15, 2008, Enterobacter sakazakii and other micro-organisms in powdered infant formula http://www.fao.org/food/food-safety-quality/food-safety-quality/topical-issues/enterobacter/en/
JOINT FAO/WHO FOOD STANDARDS PROGRAMME, CODEX COMMITTEE ON FOOD HYGIENE, Thirty-sixth Session – Washington DC, United States of America, 29 March to 3 April 2004, “RISK PROFILE OF ENTEROBACTER SAKAZAKII AND OTHER MICROORGANISMS IN POWDERED INFANT FORMULA” (Prepared by the United States of America and Canada)
Questions and Answers on Enterobacter sakazakii in powdered infant formula
American Academy of Pediatrics – Infant Formula Safety
Infant formula: 7 steps to prepare it safely
Bacteria Tied to Baby’s Death Has Been Linked to Formula Since 1980s
Third Infant Reported With Infection as Mead Johnson Says Formula Is Safe
Lawsuit: Formula caused brain damage in child
The Problems With (Convenient, Cheap) Powdered Baby Formula