Health Commissioner Julia Sheen urges participants of the WIC Program to check the lot numbers of Similac-brand powder infant formula, which was voluntarily recalled by the Illinois-based Abbot Company late last week because of contamination from pieces of insects.
WIC participants, who have purchased Similac-powder formula, which the company said last week contained beetles, should first find out if they have product that needs to be returned by using the following contact information: 1-800-986-9950 or by visiting www.similac.com/recall. The lot number is the top number of the numbers in black print on the bottom of the can. Participants also have to contact the vendor where the product was purchased or call their respective WIC clinic.
Lorna Concepcion, interim WIC director, said participants with WIC-issued checks for powder formula should return to their respective WIC clinic with the check for replacement.
WIC urges all participants to breast feed their infants during this time.
The recall involves all Similac powder infant formulas sold in plastic tubs and certain Similac powder product lines offered in 8-ounce, 12.4-ounce and 12.9 cans. This includes Isomil and Go & Grow powder formulas.
Products with affected lot numbers can be returned to Abbott at no cost to the consumer. Both the company’s Web site and the consumer hotline have specific details on how to complete the return process.
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) said last week, following the company’s voluntary recall, that while the formulas containing the beetles pose no immediate health risk, there is a possibility that infants who consume formula containing the beetles or their larvae could experience symptoms of gastrointestinal discomfort and refusal to eat as a result of small insect parts irritating the GI tract.
Also last week, Commissioner Sheen urged parents to seek immediate care for their children if such symptoms persist for more than a few days.
The FDA has said that no Abbott liquid infant formulas have been impacted. Products not involved in the recall include all Abbott Nutrition liquid ready-to-feed and concentrated infant formulas, and all powder and liquid specialty formulas, such as Similac Expert Care™ Alimentum®, Elecare®, Similac Expert Care™ Neosure®, Similac® Human Milk Fortifier and metabolic formulas for inherited disorders.