Ireland’s Perrigo Company has seen some of its Gerber-branded infant-formula products recalled in North America after they were linked to potential bacteria contamination.
Perrigo, which acquired an infant-formula brand from Nestlé in November, said the product – GerberGood Start Soothe – is being recalled out of “an abundance of caution” due to the potential presence of the bacteria Cronobacter sakazakii.
The salmonella-like strain of bacteria has been linked to illness in children and caused an infant-nutrition crisis in the US last year when its presence in products forced the temporary closure of major supplier Abbott Laboratories’ Michigan facility leading to nationwide product shortages.
Abbott is now facing a Department of Justice probe into the affair.
Confirming the product recall on its website, the Canadian government said the affected formula was sold across Canada in 942-gram packages, with the lot numbers 301757651Z, 301757652Z and 301857651Z, and best before dates of July 18 and 19, 2024.
Another 13 lots under three different pack sizes have been recalled in the US.
The products were manufactured between 2 January and 18 January.
Perrigo said in a statement on Friday (17 March) there have been no reported illnesses associated with the formula and no distributed product has tested positive for the presence of the bacteria.
Perrigo said it has been working with the Canadian Food Inspection Agency and is informing customers who received the products to arrange for them to be removed from store shelves. In the US, the recall is being conducted in consultation with the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
The products concerned were manufactured at the Gateway Eau Claire manufacturing facility in Wisconsin in the US.
Perrigo bought the plant, along with the US and Canadian rights to the Good Start brand from Nestlé four months ago. It operates the Good Start infant-formula brand in North America.
Perrigo said no other products manufactured at the facility or any other of the company’s other sites are affected by the recall.
In its statement, the company said: “We have numerous regulatory approved procedures throughout the manufacturing process to control for Cronobacter sakazakii. Every batch of infant formula is tested to make certain it meets stringent nutritional, safety, quality, and regulatory requirements. As part of our rigorous protocols to protect the safety of families and infants, we are proactively taking this action.”