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Similac recalling 5 million cans of baby formula

By Marina Landis, CNN


NEW YORK (CNN) -- Abbott Laboratories said Wednesday that it has issued a recall of approximately 5 million cans of certain Similac-brand powdered infant formula due to the possibility of the presence of a beetle.

Abbott spokeswoman Melissa Brotz said that the presence of a small common beetle was detected in the product produced at a manufacturing facility in Sturgis, Mich.

The company said Thursday that the recall affects all of its plastic rectangular tubs of powder Similac products and cans with Similac powder formula. However, the Similac liquid products are not affected by the recall.

Brotz also said the company was aware that both its Web site and hotline were down and that Abbott was increasing capacity to handle the large volume of inquiries.

The company has since stopped production and shipment of the affected formula, and contacted the Food and Drug Administration to initiate the recall.

The recall includes certain Similac powder product lines that come in 8-ounce, 12.4-ounce, and 12.9-ounce cans. Abbott liquid formula is not a part of the recall.

The FDA said that this type of beetle, if ingested, could cause discomfort and irritate the gastrointestinal tract, causing the infant to lose appetite.

The affected manufacturing plant is being fumigated, a process that according to the FDA started Wednesday and will take about three days.

Company spokeswoman Brotz added that, "Parents place a lot of trust in Similac, and delivering anything less than the highest quality formula is unacceptable to us. That's why we're initiating the recall."

The recall is being issued in the United States, Puerto Rico, Guam and some countries in the Caribbean

Abbott said that parents and caregivers can go to www.similac.com/recall10 or call Abbott's consumer hotline, (800) 986-8850, 24 hours a day, seven days a week, for more information.

-- CNN's Saundra Young and CNNMoney.com senior writer Parija Kavilanz contributed to this report.

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