SINGAPORE - The Agri-Food and Veterinary Authority issued a recall on Monday (Aug 20) of Dumex Mamil Gold Infant Milk Formula - Stage 1 (850g), after samples tested positive for Cronobacter sakazakii bacteria.
Here are answers to some of the questions parents and caregivers may have:
What is Cronobacter sakazakii?
It is a bacterium found in the environment that can survive dry conditions, such as in dry food like powdered milk. It cannot be spread from person to person. Infections from the bacterium are generally rare, but it can be fatal to newborns as it can cause meningitis or sepsis.
How can I tell if my tin is from the affected batch?
Products from the recalled batch expire on Sept 11, 2019, and can be identified by the batch number 09117R1 printed on the lid. Other batches of the same product currently on shelves are safe for consumption.
My baby has been fed milk from the contaminated batch. What should I do?
Parents and caregivers should look out for the following symptoms, which generally show up between four and nine days after ingestion: Fever, poor feeding, lethargy and seizures.
Seek immediate medical treatment if the infant becomes unwell. Cronobacter infection can be treated with antibiotics.
How do I prevent contamination during preparation of formula milk?
Proper hygiene and preparation is key to minimise the risk of infection. Wash your hands with soap before handling items which will come into contact with the infant's mouth, sterilise items meant for feeding such as milk bottles and teats, and use prepared formula milk within two hours of preparation.
If the milk has been prepared properly using hot water, are the risks of infection lower?
The Ministry of Health recommends boiling water and allowing it to cool to no less than 70 deg C before pouring into the bottle as using hot water to reconstitute milk powder can kill bacteria.
Even though this reduces the risk of infection, hot water is not enough to kill all bacteria, and any remaining sakazakii bacteria contained in reconstituted formula milk can grow to reach dangerous levels when stored for more than 30 minutes at room temperature, according to Dr Ong Eng Keow, a paediatrician and neonatologist at the International Child and Adolescent Clinic at Mount Alvernia Hospital.
Are there any long-term effects from consuming the bacteria?
No. The effects of consuming the bacteria are acute, meaning that they are short term, according to Dr Ong.