Beetles and larvae in infant formula? Yuck

Yesterday's recall of some versions of powdered Similac infant formula had a certain stomach-churning quality, and that's apparently the main risk if infants are exposed.  In a notice posted on the FDA's website, Abbott said:

The United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has determined that while the formula containing these beetles poses 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. If these symptoms persist for more than a few days, a physician should be consulted.

The Illinois company said the recall affects:

  • Certain Similac powder product lines offered in plastic containers.
  • Certain Similac powder product lines offered in sizes such as 8-ounce, 12.4-ounce and 12.9-ounce cans.

Abbott said the recall does not affect "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."

Abbott says an internal quality review "detected the remote possibility of the presence of a small common beetle in the product produced in one production area in a single manufacturing facility."

If you use Similac powder and want to see if product you bought came from one of the affected lots, go to or call 800-986-8850 - though the number was warning today of long hold times. Click here to see photos of the products showing where to find the lot numbers.

Click here to see the full notice on the FDA site.

Want to see a list of all 2010 FDA "safety alerts" affecting "human medical products"? Click here.