Enfamil Premium Newborn Formula has been pulled off the shelves at various stores since three infants fed the formula recently tested positive for bacteria called Cronobacter Sakazakii. Tragically, this infection was fatal for one of the babies.

Researchers are trying to pinpoint the source of the bacteria and are even testing tap water.

Cronobacter Sakazakii is linked to infant meningitis (an inflammation of the membranes surrounding the brain and spinal cord) and necrotising enterocolitis, and is most likely caused by the post process of formula development. It causes a rare but fatal infection in the bloodstream and the central nervous system. Infants and especially premature infants are most susceptible to the infection due to their weakened immune systems.

If the formula is produced using a dry blending process and not heated, the bacteria can survive.

The best way to thwart these bacteria from infecting your infant is to ensure that the water you use to mix formula is heated to 158 degrees Fahrenheit or 70 degrees Celsius (though, of course, this will need to cool before you feed it to your baby!). Premixed liquid formula is usually sterile, but after 24 hours, any unused formula should be thrown out.

Signs and Symptoms of Cronobacter Sakazakii infection:

  • Irritability
  • Jaundice
  • Grunting while breathing
  • Unstable body temperature
  • Poor feeding response
  • Make sure to speak to your doctor if you feel your child may have come into contact with this infection.

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