Champaign-Urbana Public Health District

Safety Guidelines for Preparing Feeding Formula

Tuesday - Jan 03, 2012

IDPH Reminds Infant Caregivers to Follow Safety Guidelines for Preparing
Feeding Formula

Infections associated with formula reported in two infants in Missouri,

CHICAGO - The Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) is reminding
parents and other caregivers of infants to follow safety guidelines when
preparing powdered infant feeding formula, including boiling the water
used to mix the formula to sterilize it.

Two newborn infants contracted the bacterial infection Cronobacter
sakazakii (C. sakazakii). A Missouri infant died, and an Illinois infant
is recovering from the infection. C. sakazakii in infants is associated
with powdered infant feeding formulas. An investigation is ongoing to
identify the source of infection.

Commercial powdered infant formulas are not sterile. Formula can become
contaminated with C. sakazakii through the raw products used to make the
formula, contamination after pasteurization or during preparation of
reconstituted formula for infant feeding.

As a result, IDPH strongly recommends the following precautions to
reduce the risk of infection in infants:

Clean utensils
* Wash hands, forearms and fingernails thoroughly before handling
any feeding materials or preparing formula.
* All bottles, nipples, caps and rings should be washed in hot,
soapy water with thorough rinsing.

Preparing formula

* Before use, powdered formula should be kept dry in an airtight
container with a firm cap or lid and stored in a cool, dark area. Make
sure the expiration date has not passed.
* During formula preparation, bring water to a bubbling boil for
two minutes and allow the water to cool before mixing.
* Do not use a microwave oven to warm the formula.

Storing formula

* Formula should be prepared in small amounts immediately before
feeding time to minimize the need for storing reconstituted formula.
* Reconstituted formula should not be stored at room temperature
for more than one hour or more than four hours in the refrigerator after
* Throw out any formula left in a bottle after feeding.

Additional information on best practices in preparing infant formula can
be found here:

Illinois Department of Human Services: