Should I be worried about salmonella in my baby’s formula milk?

Headlines today reveal that some brands might carry the infection. Here's what's helpful to know...

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In a nutshell

French firm Lactalis has recalled 12 million boxes of its formula powder after salmonella bacteria was discovered at its factory.

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While the UK wasn’t one of the countries affected, it’s worth knowing about the risk in case you buy the product abroad or plan to while you’re away.

What’s the story?

Today’s scary headlines reveal that formula milk producers Lactalis have recalled millions of boxes of powdered formula milk in 83 countries.

There’s no need to panic, though it is worth being aware of the risk of salmonella when using formula milk.

The brands affected are:

  • Picot
  • Milumel
  • Taranis

The recall applies to Europe, Asia, Latin America and Africa, where these brands are largely sold.

Even though the UK, Australia and America haven’t been issued with a recall, we thought it would be good to share the info in case you buy the formula from abroad, or use it here and are planning to buy it when on holiday or visiting one of the countries with the potentially affected powder.

So is other formula safe?

It’s worth noting that powdered infant formula is not a sterile product, so even if it’s manufactured in a super-squeaky clean factory, there is a still a risk that it can become be a breeding ground for bacteria once it’s made up into baby milk.

This means that, if you do use it then it’s really important to make sure you follow the instructions on the box as closely as possible to minimise the risk.

This includes using sterile bottles and making sure you use the formula within the suggested time frame.

You definitely shouldn’t make up bottles hours and hours ahead of feeding. For more info, take a look at our guidance on how to do it correctly.

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