Batches of Gerber Good Start SoothePro baby formula, recalled because of contamination concerns earlier this year, were sent to retailers after U.S. health officials announced the recall, according to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.  

Several lots of Gerber Good Start infant formula manufactured at a Perrigo Company facility in Eau Claire, Wisconsin, were recalled nationwide on March 17. The action was taken “out of an abundance of caution” because of concerns of Cronobacter sakazakii contamination. The same germ caused a massive recall last year that led to a baby formula shortage.

On May 14, cooperative food wholesaler Associated Wholesale Grocers announced it had distributed the 12.4 oz. version of the recalled product to eight states and more than 50 retailers, according to the FDA. Supermarkets across Alabama, Georgia, Indiana, Kentucky, Ohio, Tennessee, Virginia and West Virginia received the recalled Gerber Good Start SoothePro powder infant formula. A complete list of retailers can be found in the FDA communication

Previously Recalled Infant Formula

The following lots of Gerber Good Start SoothePro infant formula were recalled in March:

Gerber Good Start SoothePro 12.4 oz.:

  • 300357651Z – USE BY 04JUL2024
  • 300457651Z – USE BY 05JUL2024
  • 300557651Z – USE BY 06JUL2024
  • 300557652Z – USE BY 06JUL2024
  • 300757651Z – USE BY 08JUL2024
  • 300857651Z – USE BY 09JUL2024
  • 301057651Z – USE BY 11JUL2024
  • 301057652Z – USE BY 11JUL2024
  • 301157651Z – USE BY 12JUL2024

Gerber Good Start SoothePro 19.4 oz.:

  • 301557652Z – USE BY 16JUL2024

Gerber Good Start SoothePro 30.6 oz.:

  • 301357652Z – USE BY 14JUL2024
  • 301457652Z – USE BY 15JUL2024
  • 301557651Z – USE BY 16JUL2024

Consumers are urged to check lot numbers and use-by dates and discard any products that are part of the recall.

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Parents Sue Formula Makers Over Health Issues

There have been six recalls of powder baby formula since 2022, according to the FDA’s recall database. Nearly all the recalls centered on Cronobacter sakazakii contamination. One recall included contamination with Salmonella Newport, which is also known to cause severe illness in infants. 

Nearly 100 baby formula lawsuits were filed against manufacturers in 2022 when premature babies developed necrotizing enterocolitis, or NEC, after consuming toxic cow’s-milk-based formulas produced by two companies. Parents allege that Mead Johnson and Abbott Laboratories, makers of two infant formulas, knew about the side effects and failed to warn consumers. The cases are ongoing. 

In March the FDA penned a letter to powder infant formula makers with information on how to help prevent future Cronobacter contamination. Health officials want manufacturers to reevaluate their production systems and ensure full compliance with regulations and quality control.

The letter also asked manufacturers to notify the FDA if product samples test positive for Cronobacter or salmonella, even if the lots are destroyed and not distributed. In one instance in 2022, a contaminated lot was destroyed, but the equipment was not thoroughly cleaned. That led to future lots being contaminated and recalled, according to a report by Politico

What Is Cronobacter Sakazakii?

The Cronobacter sakazakii bacteria is found naturally in the environment and is related to germs that can cause meningitis in infants. It can be found in dry foods such as powder infant formula, herbal teas and powdered milk, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Cronobacter sakazakii is known to cause serious illness or even death in infants younger than 2 months and those with weakened immune systems. Symptoms include fever, poor appetite, excessive crying, low energy, jaundice and seizures. Infants who have these symptoms should be seen by a doctor immediately. 

Consumers seeking a refund on purchases of the recalled baby formula may contact Gerber at 1-800-777-7690.