As mothers and consumers of baby products, we trust that the products we buy are safe and reliable for our children to use. Which is why two moms were recently very startled to find that the baby formula they had purchased was tainted with maggots.
First time mom, Taylor Seyler from Independence, Missouri breastfeeds her two month old son exclusively but was in need of a supplement, so she purchased some Similac baby formula. After feeding him 2 ounces she began to notice worms swimming in her baby’s bottle.
“Two ounces down I noticed the worms and I was like oh. That’s great,” she said. “Took it from his mouth, went and put a napkin over the faucet and we poured it down the drain and we saw the maggots on it.”
She contacted Abbott, the company who manufactures Similac and they responded with this statement:
“We take all concerns about product quality and safety seriously. Parents can be confident that our Similac infant formulas are safe. A third-party entomologist has reviewed the photos and concluded that based on the life cycle, and the age and size of the Indian meal moth larva in the photos, they entered the product after it left our facilities and the safety seal was removed. Our products pass rigorous safety and quality checks, including numerous steps to check for foreign objects and ensure proper packaging.
Indian meal moths are very common and can often be found in kitchen pantries inside flour and cereal. To prevent contamination, caregivers should inspect products before use and practice safe handling with powdered formula, including washing hands, closing containers tightly after each use and storing products in a dry, cool, clean place.”
Unfortunately, Seyler is not the only mom who has recently noticed maggots in baby formula.
Helen Williamson is a mother of four who recently noticed worms in Nutramigen formula.
“I went to burp her like normal. I happened to glance over at the bottle and saw you know waves. I pick up the bottle and hold it in the light and I see worms like inching up. Pick up the can and looked in it and saw pieces of the formula moving inside the can. So I was like oh my gosh,” said Williamson. “I just feel like they’re not doing something right because there wouldn’t be, I’m sorry they look like maggots to me. There wouldn’t be maggots crawling around in my baby’s bottle.”
Mead Johnson is still investigating this incident but did release this statement:
“We can share with you that we have not received any similar complaints on this batch of Nutramigen. As we understand the situation, the can of product had been opened by the consumer the day before it was used. It is important to note that the introduction of foreign matter into any Mead Johnson product during the manufacturing and packaging process is extremely unlikely given our numerous stringent safeguards and quality control procedures.”
The moral of the story is to fully check all cans before purchasing to make sure they are properly sealed and have not been tampered with. Also be sure to properly store and seal containers upon bringing them home to ensure freshness and safety. After mixing formula with water, be sure to check it before feeding it to baby. Although harmful contaminants are rare, it’s always better to be safe than sorry.