Illinois residents who purchased Enfamil ProSobee Simply Plant-Based Infant Formula recently should check the packaging carefully before feeding the product to their babies. That is because Reckitt, which is the U.K.-based company that makes Enfamil infant formulas, has issued a voluntary recall due to a possible cross-contamination with a germ that can be deadly to small children. Reckitt is not aware of any infant illnesses or deaths linked with the possible cronobacter contamination, and the company says the recall is motivated by an abundance of caution.
Cronobacter is a germ that is found naturally in soil and water, and it also thrives in dried foods like herbal teas, powdered milk and baby formula. Most food companies do not have to worry about cronobacter-related dangerous product lawsuits because the germ is usually killed when dried foods are exposed to high heat during the manufacturing process, but that is not how baby formula is made. Babies who consume cronobacter become sick quickly and can develop brain swelling and potentially fatal blood infections. Symptoms of an infant cronobacter infection include fever, jaundice, irritability, grunting breaths, unusual body movements and a lack of interest in food.
2022 FDA investigation
Fears over cronobacter contamination prompted the Food and Drug Administration to launch an investigation in February 2022 that shut down the country’s largest baby food manufacturing plant and led to a nationwide formula shortage. The FDA took action after four babies developed symptoms and two babies died. If you recently purchased Enfamil baby formula, you should check the packaging for the following recall information:
- UPC number: 300871214415
- Batch number: ZL2HZF or ZL2HZZ
- Lot number: 0670975 or 0670979
- Expiration date: March 1, 2024
Reckitt is offering consumers who purchased the possibly contaminated baby formula a full refund, and the company says that it has identified the source of the contamination and has eliminated the supplier from its supply chain. The public expects the products it buys to be safe and free from contamination, and that is especially true when the product in question is food that has been made for babies.