January 6, 2012
Concord, NH – The New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) Division of Public Health Services (DPHS) issued precautions recently about the voluntary recall of a powdered infant formula following the death of an infant in Missouri. The infant died from a Cronobacter sakazakii infection. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued findings that samples they tested were negative so there is no need for a recall of infant formula and parents may continue to use Enfamil Newborn powdered infant formula, following the manufacturer’s directions on the printed label.
A total of four infants in the U.S. with Cronobacter infection were included in the investigation, which is ongoing. There is currently no evidence to conclude that the infant formula or nursery water was contaminated during manufacturing or shipping or to suggest the cases were related. The CDC will continue its investigation, however, to determine the source(s) of the infection.
“Since all testing has come back negative we feel safe in telling parents to resume use of the voluntarily recalled formula,” said DHHS’ Public Health Director Dr. José Montero. “We continue, as always, to remind parents and caregivers to take precautions when preparing, storing, and feeding infant formula to prevent contamination.”
The bacteria Cronobacter can be found naturally in the environment and has been found in many foods, including powdered infant formula and water. Cronobacter sakazakii rarely causes illness in humans; however, it can cause infections in infants including meningitis which can be fatal.
For infants who are fed with powdered infant formula, DHHS continues to recommend careful adherence to infection prevention measures while preparing formula. These include washing your hands with soap and water before preparation, cleaning all feeding equipment in hot, soapy water and preparing formula for just one feeding at a time. U.S. Department of Agriculture guidelines on the safe preparation of powdered infant formula are available at on the DHHS website at www.dhhs.nh.gov/dphs/nhp/wic/documents/formula.pdf.