The number of infants killed by the contamination of a variety of batches of baby formula at a Sturgis, Michigan Abbott Laboratories facility may have risen as another death has recently been reported and regulators question how many illnesses have gone unreported.
Information has also been made public that shows that reports of infant illnesses and their potential ties to the Sturgis facility may have been made to the FDA as early as September of 2021. According to the lawyer representing one of the families involved in a lawsuit against the company, information exists that may indicate that “as early as September of 2021, there [were] complaints to the FDA about an outbreak of foodborne pathogen Cronobacter at the facility in Sturgis, Michigan.”
The Sturgis facility is no stranger to regulatory issues. According to CBS News, the facility was issued five separate citations during a single inspection. Among the violations were employees observed not washing their hands and a building that was not being properly maintained given the sensitivity of the product it was producing. A separate inspection of the facility yielded positive test results for environmental Cronobacter.
The FDA says that an investigation is “ongoing” as the agency works to ensure that recalled lots of the baby formula have been removed from store shelves. That recall was recently expanded to include Similac PM 60/40 served in cans with lot number 27032K80 and the same product served in cases with lot number 27032K800. The product is a special formulation of Similac for infants who require a diet with a lowered mineral intake.