CORUNNA, Michigan (WNEM) — Abbott Nutrition expanded a recall for the formula produced at a Michigan factory after two infants died from a rare infection that can cause blood infections and other complications.

Rochella Smith is feeling a range of emotions over the formula she fed her son Timmy for months.

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“When you think everything you’ve just fed your newborn could have been toxic, it’s like mom guilt, plus anger, and it’s just the worst kind of feeling you can have,” Smith said.

The product was part of the recall of Abbott Nutrition powdered baby food formula.

“He consumed 27 cans of the recalled formula,” Smith said.

Smith said she started noticing Timmy exhibiting such symptoms as a low-grade fever and vomiting small amounts of the formula he had been consuming.

“I didn’t think anything of it until the recall, and you kind of get that paranoid mom brain. We really watched him for a couple of weeks because we just weren’t sure,” Smith said.

Smith said Timmy is healthy now. He celebrated his first birthday Sunday. She feels lucky because it could have been much worse.

“You know they say your heart hits the floor, your stomach hits the floor. It really does. Because you start thinking, they start throwing all of those scary bacteria words out,” Smith said.

Cronobacter Sakazakii is the bacteria the CDC suspects is responsible for four reports of infections. The agency said it traced the problem to the formula produced at abbot nutrition’s facility in Sturgis, Michigan.

“It causes meningitis, swelling of the brain. It can leave permanent damage and can lead to death,” said Mitzi Baum, CEO, Stop Foodborne Illness.

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The CDC also reports one salmonella infection. All five infants were hospitalized, and the CDC said the Cronobacter Infections may have contributed to the known deaths of two infants.

Baum said it took Abbott months to announce the recall.

“They had been inspected in September of 2021. There were some items identified in the inspection and that was about the time where the initial infant illness was reported,” Baum said.

The recall was announced in February.

“It’s really scary because the recall just came out, but these babies have been on this recalled formula for months. For months and months,” Smith said.

“They are our most vulnerable population. We need to be there to protect them. And in this case, we’ve failed,” Baum said.

In a statement to TV5, Abbott Nutrition said:

“We want to extend our heartfelt sympathies to the family. We value the trust parents place in us for high quality and safe nutrition and we’ll do whatever it takes to keep that trust. The cases are under investigation and at this time the cause of the infants’ infections have not been determined. All infant formula products are tested for Cronobacter sakazakii, Salmonella and other pathogens and they must test negative before any product is released. In addition, retained samples related to the complaints for Cronobacter sakazakii tested negative for Cronobacter sakazakii. And the retained sample related to the complaint for Salmonella tested negative for Salmonella.”

To find symptoms to watch for, and which formulas to avoid, there is information on the FDA’s website.

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