Some Similac powder infant formulas were found to be contaminated with small beetles and their larvae, prompting Abbot Labs to issue a voluntary recall. The affected products were distributed to retail outlets and medical facilities in the USA, Puerto Rico, Guam and some Caribbean islands. According to Abbott, a fault was discovered in part of a manufacturing facility.

The beetle or larvae contamination risk is remote, Abbott stresses. The company adds that the FDA (Food and Drug Administration) believes that infant formulas containing these beetles “pose no immediate health risk”. However, there is a chance that babies might develop gastrointestinal discomfort. Gastrointestinal symptoms of irritation may also put the baby off eating, Abbot adds.

Should any parent or caregiver detect gastrointestinal symptoms that last more than a couple of days, they should consult a health care professional.

Click here, and type the product lot number in the box, then click on “search”. There is an image to the right of the search box; click on it to locate the lot number on the packaging.

List of all affected products and their lot numbersClick here (PDF) for a full list of Product Descriptions and their Lot Numbers.

Retailers/distributors should immediately check their inventory for any affected products. Their lot numbers can be found at the bottom of each container. Abbot asks retailers/distributors to put affected product lots on hold and return them in the following way:

  • 1-9 cases – the retailer/distributor should complete the form – click here to see the form – to receive FedEx Ground prepaid label and mailer.
  • 10+ cases – the retailer/distributor is asked not to fill in the form, but to contact ABF ByRequest directly at 1-866-643-9477 to organize a pick up.

Distributors are asked to notify their customers of this recall and tell them to check their inventory and place any affected products on hold and contact Abbott at 1-888-376-2054.

  • Check inventory for 8-ounce powder can samples that may be affected by the recall.
  • Place affected products on hold. Do not give to patients.
  • Affected products will be removed within four days by an Abbott Nutrition pediatric sales representative.
  • Those who do not know who their sales representative is, or if they have not been contacted, call 1-800-545-5216 (for medical professionals) to arrange for the affected product samples to be picked up.
  • Healthcare professionals who are contacted by parents or caregivers should advise them to discontinue use immediately and either visit or telephone 1-888-376-2054.

Affected products include all Similac powder formula in rectangular plastic tubs, as well as some formula in cans and other packaging (check list of recalled product numbers).

Unaffected products include powder and liquid specialty formulas, including Similac Expert Care™, Alimentum®, Elecare®, Similac Expert CareTM Neosure®, Similac® Human Milk Fortifier, and metabolic formulas (for inherited disorders).

Source: Abbot Labs.

Written by Christian Nordqvist