Cronobacter has been detected in an infant milk formula sent to Moldova.

The National Food Safety Agency (ANSA) in Moldova ordered the recall of two lot codes of Numil initial infant milk formula that was made in the Czech Republic and distributed by a company in Poland to Moldova.

Numil is a specialist baby food company based in Greece, Spain and Turkey and is part of Danone. Danone didn’t respond to questions from Food Safety News about the incident.

Affected lot codes are 02.05.2022 and 28.04.22 of the 900-gram product with a date of Oct. 12, 2023. The Czech producer is Corinos House s.r.o., the name of the Polish exporter is Proszki Mleczne and the Moldovan importer is Pșeneac.

ANSA advised people who had purchased the products not to feed them to their babies but instead return them to the shop where they were purchased. The agency did not report any related illnesses.

Czech investigation
The problem was reported by the Czech Republic as part of an official control on the market, according to a Rapid Alert System for Food and Feed (RASFF) notification. About 1,850 tins were produced.

A spokesman for the State Veterinary Administration (SVS) in the Czech Republic told Food Safety News that official samples were taken by the agency on May 4 from the producer´s plant.

“On May 13, after receiving the analytical result, a local investigation was carried out and a decision was issued ordering an immediate recall and to inform the Polish customer,” according to the spokesman,

“The investigation established that 1,848 tins of 900-gram product were exported on May 6 to Moldova. The producer must carry out special sanitation of the entire plant, train the employees and verify the safety of the next batch of Numil. It may be placed on the market only when all laboratory tests prove satisfactory results.”

Other Cronobacter in formula issues
Earlier this year, Cronobacter was detected during Australian testing of infant formula made in Europe. A batch of KetoCal 3:1 was found to be positive after sampling at the border by Australian customs officials. Nutricia, which is owned by Danone, said it had not received any reports of illness from patients or their families and testing before the batch left the production plant and after did not find Cronobacter.

Another Cronobacter situation involves Abbott Nutrition in the United States and closure of a plant in Sturgis, MI, has led to a shortage of infant formula.

According to the CDC and FDA, at least four infants were sickened by Cronobacter and two died, suspected to be from having Abbott infant formula. The company denies the connection.

Cronobacter infection in infants will usually start with a fever and poor feeding, excessive crying, grunting while breathing or very low energy. Some may also have seizures. If your child develops these symptoms, take them to a doctor as soon as possible. Those more likely to get sick from Cronobacter infections include infants 2 months and younger, those born prematurely or with weakened immune systems, such as those undergoing chemotherapy.

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