18,000 Washington families in WIC program possibly affected by baby formula recall, DOH warns

Similac on a store shelf, locked behind glass. (Getty Images)

The Washington State Department of Health (DOH) is warning of a powdered baby formula recall that may affect thousands of families in the WIC program.

Last week, Abbott Nutrition issued a voluntary recall of powdered baby formula products, including Similac, Alimentum and EleCare due to possible Cronobacter contamination. Cronobacter is a bacteria that can cause severe blood infections, meningitis or fatal intestinal disease in infants.

Abbott issued the recall when a baby was exposed to Cronobacter after being fed Similac PM. The infant died, and health officials believe the Cronobacter infection may have contributed to this.

Recalled powdered formulas include Similac PM 60/40 with lot code 27032K80 (can) or 27032K800 (case). It also affects Similac, Alimentum and EleCare powdered formulas with the following:

  • First two digits of the code are 22 through 37
  • The container contains "K8," "SH," or "Z2"
  • The use-by date is 4-1-2022 (APR 2022) or later
Similac recall

Product image of Abbott Nutrition’s Similac PM 60/40 infant formula.

You can also check your product's lot code on the Abbott Nutrition website.

RELATED: FDA: Abbott baby formula recall expanded to Similac PM after another report of illness

DOH warns at least 18,000 families who receive baby formula through the Women, Infants and Children (WIC) program might be affected by the recall.

Officials say they are working to provide alternatives for families, and urge families to call stores ahead of time to make sure they have other products safe for their children. Families in the WIC program can also contact WIC clinics or use the WIC shopping app for updates.

Health experts note symptoms of Cronobacter infection in infants are typically a fever, poor feeding, excessive crying or low energy, although some infants suffer seizures. If your child is experiencing any of these symptoms, or if they have been fed the recalled formula, contact your health care provider immediately.

No cases of Cronobacter infection connected to the recalled formula have been detected in Washington.

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