(February 27, 2023) Enfamil recalled nearly 145,000 cans of plant-based baby formula on Sunday, February 19, 2023, due to potential contamination. The parent company, Reckitt, said in a statement that the recall was out of an “abundance of caution” and that all of the distributed products tested negative but that the recalled cans may have been contaminated with Cronobacter sakazakii. Unfortunately, this is not the first time Enfamil has had potentially life-threatening products on the shelves.
Enfamil and Necrotizing Enterocolitis (NEC)
Premature or otherwise underweight infants need more than normal amounts of protein to help them to grow and gain healthy weight. Since breastfeeding is not always an option for parents, doctors will often recommend substituting it with baby formulas like Enfamil. Unfortunately, one of Enfamil’s baby formulas was not properly labeled to include the risks associated with baby formula and infants developing necrotizing enterocolitis, otherwise known as NEC. NEC is a condition that attacks an infant’s intestinal tract and can potentially end in tragic loss. This, unfortunately, left many parents struggling with NEC or mourning a terrible loss.
Cronobacter sakazakii, more commonly referred to as Cronobacter, is a naturally occurring germ in the environment and can survive in powdered baby formulas. The possible points of contamination are either in the home due to contact with a contaminated surface or in manufacturing plants where formulas are made due to contaminated ingredients or surfaces. Infection from Cronobacter is incredibly rare. There are only two to four reported cases each year, though the CDC cautions that this may be due in part to the fact that hospitals are not required to report cases of Cronobacter. Though incredibly rare, it is also incredibly dangerous – potentially life-threatening – to the newborns who contract it. This germ has been shown to cause sepsis in infants who contract it, which is an extreme reaction to infection that kills 350,000 Americans every year. This germ can also cause bacterial meningitis in infants, which is the swelling of the spinal cord and the linings of the brain. The CDC lists the infants who are most likely to become ill due to exposure to Cronobacter:
- Infants younger than two months. These infants are most likely to develop meningitis if they get sick from Cronobacter.
- Premature Infants
- Infants with weakened immune systems. Babies with this condition can’t fight germs as well because of illness or medical treatment, such as chemotherapy for cancer.
Common symptoms of infants who have Cronobacter are low energy, excessive crying, fever, and poor eating. It is also possible for the infant to develop seizures. Please take your infant to a medical professional if they display any of these symptoms.
For more information and to learn the steps you can take to protect your newborn, please visit the CDC’s website.
Product Liability Attorneys in San Antonio
Parents across America should not have to worry about whether or not the products that are designed specifically for their children will pose a life-threatening risk to them. Manufacturers who make products for infants and young children have rigorous procedures to follow to ensure that all of their products are safe and effective. That’s how it should be. If you or your family has suffered injury or loss due to contaminated baby formula in San Antonio or the surrounding area, contact the product liability attorneys of Carabin Shaw today at 800-862-1260. We look forward to serving you.