Bacteria in infant formula poses health risks
A sneaky germ could be lurking in your powdered baby formula that can pose a life threatening risk for young infants. Cronobacter is a natural germ that can be found in our environment. Cronobacter germs can survive in extremely dry places, which makes dry baby formula the perfect breeding ground. The germ begins multiplying itself once the formula has been mixed with water.
This isn’t the only place that you can find this germ, however. It can also be found in other common kitchen staples, such as powdered milk, herbal teas, or starches.
This germ can also infect people of all ages. Cronobacter could be particularly troublesome for people with an autoimmune disease or elderly individuals whose bodies might not have the strength to fight back. Cronobacter causes a severe bacterial sepsis infection or meningitis in infants. Common symptoms for babies are fever, loss of appetite (poor feeding), crying, or listlessness. The only way you can diagnose the infection is with a laboratory culture.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention highly recommends that if you are feeding your baby formula that if you have left over formula after feeding, then you should throw it away. Do not save it.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration, explains how you can lessen the risk of your child becoming ill with Cronobacter by simply following these simple steps!
- Wash your hands with soap and water before preparing the formula,
- Clean all feeding equipment in hot, soapy water,
- Prepare only enough formula for one feeding at a time and give it to the baby right away, and
- Follow the manufacturer’s directions on the printed label.
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