WASHINGTON (AP) — Drugmaker Abbott Laboratories said Wednesday it is recalling millions of containers of its best-selling Similac infant formula that may be contaminated with insect parts.

The voluntary action affects up to 5 million Similac-brand powder formulas sold in the U.S., Puerto Rico, Guam and some Caribbean countries. The company said the products may contain a small beetle or larvae, which could cause stomach ache and digestion problems.

The recall does not affect any liquid formulas or other Abbott-brand products.

A company spokeswoman said Abbott uncovered the insects last week in one section of a manufacturing plant in Sturgis, Mich.

“We immediately shut down that one area and began an investigation,” said Abbott’s Melissa Brotz. “We’re in the process of resolving it now.” Abbott manufactures Similac at several U.S. sites.

Brotz said the company has been consulting with the Food and Drug Administration, which determined there was no “immediate health risk” from the contamination.

The company has set up a website and consumer hot line at (800) 986-8850. Consumers can enter the lot number on their containers online to determine if they are subject to the recall. The products should be returned to Abbott for a full refund.

“Delivering anything less than the highest quality infant formula is unacceptable to us,” said Brotz. “We will do whatever is necessary to maintain the trust of parents in the coming weeks.”

The affected products were sold in plastic containers and various can sizes, including 8-ounce, 12.4-ounce and 12.9-ounce.

Similac is the best-selling infant formula in the U.S. Abbott’s nutritional products — which include adult brands like Ensure — had sales of $5.3 billion last year.

Abbott expects to lose $100 million in connection with the recall. However, the North Chicago, Ill., company confirmed its third-quarter earnings guidance between $1.03 and $1.05 per share.

Shares of Abbott Laboratories fell 16 cents to $51.99.

(© Copyright 2010 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

Comments (5)
  1. antoinette says:

    i purchased liquid similiac advance inthe two ounce bottle size liquid was oily called company an got no where said they would send coupons no investigation said i would bring to lab

  2. Fred R. says:

    Good luck trying to get info from them. The phone has been busy for hours and the web link does not work either. mabe the news could post the lot numbers? seems their web page is alway running. hate to think if there was a real health threat!

  3. Ruth Record says:

    My grandson was born on the 17th. He was given one bottle of this stuff on Sunday and has been suffering since. We just discovered that this can was in the recall. Interesting, that most of it was shipped out of country and GIVEN AWAY AS FREE SAMPLES!! (which is where i got mine from) Did they know this? Seriously, this poor baby has been screaming in pain and full of gas.

  4. Hellen Robertson says:

    Our baby has suffered with cramps and gas with the powdered formula. Two months ago, while preparing the formula, I found a small pebble like piece of debris in the powder. Thank goodness I always filter the food before pouring it into the bottles. Also, the formula clumps a lot! Very annoying!

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