Infant Formula Contamination

In September, the FDA released the results of its investigation into the Sturgis plant, which showed infant formula products had been manufactured under unsafe conditions.

A U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) 2022 investigation and inspection of the Abbot Nutrition Sturgis, Michigan plant uncovered dangerous and unsafe manufacturing conditions and processes. They linked these conditions to the production of contaminated infant
formula that caused serious illness and death of babies. Parents from across the U.S. seeking justice and financial compensation for the harm caused to their children have filed lawsuits against Abbott Nutrition.

Contamination Found in Abbott Nutrition Infant Formula

Between September 2021 and January 2022, the FDA received reports that four premature infants were seriously injured, two of which led to death, after consuming contaminated powdered infant cow milk formula manufactured at the Abbott Nutrition plant in Sturgis, Michigan.

In February 2022, Abbott Nutrition voluntarily recalled some of the infant formula made at the plant and shut down the plant for almost 4 months.

The FDA launched an investigation that included an onsite inspection of the plant in February 2022 and discovered unsanitary production processes. This led the FDA to issue a public warning to consumers urging baby formula users to avoid using specific recalled
Similac, Alimentum, and EleCare formula products were made at this facility.

The inspectors also uncovered a history of Cronobacter contamination at the plant, which included eight events between 2019 and 2022.

In September, the FDA released the results of its investigation into the Sturgis plant, which showed infant formula products had been manufactured under unsafe conditions.

Cronobacter Contamination

Most infections from Cronobacter occur in infants under 6 weeks of age because their immune systems are too weak to fight off the disease.

Cronobacter infections can easily spread through the bloodstream to other parts of the body causing sepsis, which can quickly lead to tissue damage, organ failure, and even death.

Cronobacter is found in nature and can live in dry foods like herbal tea, powdered milk, starches, and powdered baby formula. It can cause meningitis, a dangerous inflammation of the membranes that cover the brain and spine.

Some symptoms of meningitis caused by Cronobacter infection include:

  • Poor feeding
  • Irritability
  • Drastic changes in temperature
  • Jaundice (yellow-looking skin or eyes)
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Abnormal stool movements
  • Bowel damage (Intestinal damage)


Another bacteria called Salmonella has also been linked to infant injuries caused by contaminated powdered infant cow milk formula at the Abbott Nutrition plant in Sturgis.

Salmonella is a type of bacteria that causes gastrointestinal illness. However, in babies and young children, it can also cause meningitis.

The name for an infection caused by this bacteria is “Salmonellosis”, and while its symptoms are similar to those of a Cronobacter infection, salmonellosis can also include:

  • Diarrhea
  • Stomach cramps
  • High fever
  • Headaches
  • Body aches
  • Lethargy
  • Blood in the stool and urine
salmonella symptoms in a baby

Salmonellosis can also spread beyond the intestines, infecting urine, blood, bones, joints, and the nervous system.

This can cause severe and life-threatening illness as well as debilitating pain. Even after the infection has been cleared, people who have had Salmonellosis can develop serious pain in their joints.

This is called reactive arthritis, and it can last for months or even years. Other signs of reactive arthritis include pain when urinating and eye irritation.

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Recalled Infant Formula Products

Abbott Nutrition recalled certain powdered infant formula products manufactured at its Sturgis, Michigan facility. However, some products from that facility were still available throughout the country.

The FDA warned consumers in February 2022 not to use the powdered infant formula brands listed below that had an expiration date of April 1, 2022, or later:

  • Similac
  • Alimentum
  • EleCare

The FDA also advised customers to check the lot code, which is a multidigit number on the bottom of the container, and to avoid using if:

  • The first two digits of the code are 22 through 37
  • The code on the container contains K8, SH, or Z2
  • The expiration date is 4-1-2022 (APR 2022) or later

Get Legal Help from Birth Injury Guide Attorneys

If your child became ill, suffered serious harm or tragically died after consuming potentially contaminated baby formula, your family may be entitled to substantial financial compensation.

At Birth Injury Guide we are here to help and offer free legal consultations to parents. To learn more complete the form on this page or call 877-415-6603 now.