The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has recently sent a warning letter to three infant-formula makers, urging them to improve their safety protocols to prevent contamination. The recipients of the letter include ByHeart, Mead Johnson Nutrition (a consumer goods firm owned by Reckitt Benckiser Group), and Perrigo’s Wisconsin unit.
It’s important to note that at this time the FDA is not aware of any confirmed cases of contaminated products on the market. Therefore, there is no need for consumers to avoid or dispose of any specific formula.
The FDA’s letter is a result of inspections and past recalls conducted by these facilities over the past few months. While it does not correlate with any current recalls, it emphasizes the importance of maintaining high safety standards.
This announcement brings back memories of the formula shortages experienced in the U.S. last year when Abbott Laboratories, the largest manufacturer of infant formula in the country, closed down its Michigan plant. The company had voluntarily recalled several lines of powdered formula due to concerns about bacterial contamination, which were further amplified after the tragic deaths of two infants.
During that time, Abbott Laboratories supplied approximately 44% of the formula to the market, while Reckitt Benckiser Group supplied around a third. The remaining portion was provided by Perrigo and Nestlé.
According to Donald Prater, acting director of the FDA’s Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition, this warning letter is part of the FDA’s efforts to enhance oversight of powdered infant formula facilities. It is intended to assist the industry in continuously improving their manufacturing practices and ensuring the safety of their products.
Overall, this FDA warning serves as a reminder of the critical importance of maintaining rigorous safety protocols in the manufacturing of infant formula.