FDA warns parents to avoid infant formula distributed by Texas company due to contamination

WASHINGTON — U.S. health officials warned parents to avoid powdered infant formula sold by a Texas dairy manufacturer after a dangerous bacteria was found in one of the company's products.

The Food and Drug Administration issued the warning about Crecelac Infant Powdered Goat Milk Infant Formula on Friday after a sample collected from a store in Texas tested positive for cronobacter, which can cause fatal infections in babies. The same bacteria led to recalls and shortages of infant formula in 2022 after it was discovered at a major U.S. infant formula factory.

The Crecelac formula was imported and distributed by Dairy Manufacturers Inc., according to the FDA. from Prosper, Texas. Press releases from the FDA and the company did not specify where the product was produced or how widespread it was in the US. Messages sent to the company on Friday were not immediately returned.

Last week, the company voluntarily recalled the Crecelac formula and another brand, Farmalac, because they had not received approval from the FDA for sale in the US. Infant formula distributors are required to provide data to FDA regulators demonstrating that their products meet U.S. food and nutrition standards. .

The FDA said testing of the Farmalac product did not detect cronobacter, but parents and caregivers should still avoid using the formula.

Cronobacter can cause blood infections and other serious complications in infants, including meningitis and nervous system injuries. The bacteria occur naturally in the environment and can also end up in infant formula after the package has been opened.

In 2022, FDA investigators closed an Abbott formula plant in Sturgis, Michigan, after inspections caused by four childhood illnesses linked to cronobacter, including two deaths, showed widespread contamination at the site.

Amid the shortages caused by the shutdown, the FDA began allowing the import of infant formula produced by overseas manufacturers. Previously, the agency limited U.S. infant formula production to a handful of domestic manufacturers, including Abbott.

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The Associated Press Health and Science Department receives support from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute's Science and Educational Media Group. The AP is solely responsible for all content.

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