'She was screaming in pain': Fears over recalled baby formula

Harmony Shearing and Libbie Atkin are among the Norwich mums concerned over recalled baby formula products 

Harmony Shearing and Libbie Atkin are among the Norwich mums concerned over recalled baby formula products - Credit: Contributed

Babies have been left needing hospital treatment amid fears over batches of formula milk being recalled.

Formula brands including Elecare, Similac, and Alimentum have now been urgently recalled with parents told not to feed the products to their children.

The products are made in the US but have been prescribed at Norwich surgeries as well as being available online.

The formulas could be contaminated with Salmonella, which may lead to fevers, abdominal pain, vomiting and diarrhoea according to health authorities who have warned parents to stop feeding their babies the brands.

Harmony Shearing, 21, who lives in Norwich, had to rush her 10-week-old daughter Freya-May to the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital on multiple occasions since she was prescribed the Alimentum Similac infant milk product.

Harmony Shearing with her 10-week-old daughter Freya-May 

Harmony Shearing with her 10-week-old daughter Freya-May - Credit: Contributed

Elecare Similac and Alimentum Similac infant formula powders are foods used for special medical purposes for infants, ordinarily to be used under medical supervision.

Miss Shearing said: "My daughter has been so ill and constantly screaming in pain. She was first taken to hospital seven weeks ago because she had a rash, her feet were blue and she had a temperature. 

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"The doctors were telling me it was down to a cow milk protein allergy and we would have to wait six weeks but as a mum I knew something was not right."

Miss Shearing was prescribed the formula at East Harling and Kenninghall Medical Practice but has since moved to the city centre and is now getting her daughter seen by the Norwich Practices Health Centre in Rouen Road.

She added: "Even now Freya-May is constantly sleeping. She is a 10-week-old baby who does not deserve all of this.

Freya-May Shearing 

Freya-May Shearing - Credit: Contributed

"When I saw it had been recalled on Saturday I was furious as I had been going backwards and forwards with no one appearing to be listening to me."

Wymondham's Libbie Atkin, 26, also had a prescribed Similac formula for her five-month-old son Charlie.

She was horrified to find out on Saturday night that the formula had been recalled after she had 13 tubs of infant milk for her son.

Libbie Atkin who is from Wymondham 

Libbie Atkin who is from Wymondham - Credit: Contributed

Miss Atkin said: "We were waiting nearly nine hours to get a call back from 111 to get another prescription so my son had to go until Monday without milk.

"A lady luckily gave us the same type of formula with a different brand." 

Her son's symptoms have included drowsiness and difficulty sleeping. 

Libbie Atkin's five-month-old son Charlie 

Libbie Atkin's five-month-old son Charlie - Credit: Contributed

Miss Atkin said she wants to raise awareness about the issue to other mums in the area and has called for more measures to prevent such formulas being prescribed in the future.

"More checks should be done, especially as this milk was produced in the USA," Miss Atkin said.

"The pharmacy should be calling all the parents who prescribed this milk to be aware. It's just ridiculous." 

Libbie Atkin's five-month-old son Charlie with his four-year-old sister 

Libbie Atkin's five-month-old son Charlie with his four-year-old sister - Credit: Contributed

Both the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital and NHS Norfolk and Waveney Clinical Commissioning Group said it was an issue for the Food Standards Agency to comment on.

The Food Standards Agency issued a food alert on Tuesday evening stating American health care company Abbott has taken the precautionary step of recalling various batches of Elecare Similac and Alimentum Similac infant formula powders because of the possible presence of Salmonella and Cronobacter sakazakii.

A spokesman for the Food Standards Agency said there is an ongoing investigation into the formula products.

He added: "We would encourage people to keep an eye on our website for further updates as the investigation proceeds and we find out what other issues are involved." 

No distributed product have tested positive for the presence of Cronobacter sakazakii, Salmonella Newport and other pathogens yet.

A spokeswoman for formula producer Abbott said: "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 and resolve this situation.

"Alimentum and EleCare are the only Abbott products affected by this voluntary recall in the UK. Importantly, no distributed product has tested positive for the presence of either of these bacteria, including retained samples related to the four US complaints, and we continue to test.”

If you have purchased or been prescribed any of the above product batches, do not feed it to your baby and return to the place of purchase. If you have additional questions, contact Abbott on 01795 580303.