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NAFDAC cautions on infant formula linked to foodborne illness

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The National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) has alerted the public to certain powdered infant formulas linked to foodborne illness.

The warning was made in a public alert No. 008/2022, signed by Moji Adeyeye, the director-general of the agency, in Abuja, weekend.

Adeyeye stated that the warning was due to the presence of Cronobacter Sakazakii and Salmonella newport bacteria, as notified by Abbott, to the agency. She added that four consumers in the United States of America had already complained to the appropriate authority about the infant illness and were received between September 2021 and December 2021.

She said that the complaint included three reports of Cronobacter sakazakii infections and one Salmonella Newport infection, adding that all the four infants affected were hospitalised.

According to her, Cronobacter may have contributed to the death of one of the infants. She said that Abbott’s recall of the powdered infant formula, produced at its facility in Sturgis, Michigan MI, spread globally and now includes Croatia, Italy, Ireland, Netherlands, Slovenia, and Spain, and many other countries.

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According to Adeyeye, Food Standards Agency (FSA) is investigating whether three infant illnesses reported recently in the United Kingdom are connected to the recalled infant formula.

She said that Cronobacter bacteria could cause severe life-threatening infections (sepsis) or meningitis, adding that the symptoms included poor feeding, irritability, temperature changes, jaundice, grunting breaths and abnormal movement in infants.

She added that the infection could also lead to bowel damage and might spread through the blood to other parts of the body.

Adeyeye added that Salmonella bacteria causes gastrointestinal illness, fever, which might lead to diarrhea and abdominal cramps.

“Please note that Abbott’s Similac infant formulas registered by NAFDAC are manufactured in South Africa and Republic of Ireland,

while the infant formulas were manufactured in Sturgis, Michigan-America,” she noted.