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Food Safety Focus (52nd Issue, November 2010) – Food Incident Highlight

Enterobacter sakazakii in Powdered Infant Formula

The Centre for Food Safety conducted a project on Enterobacter sakazakii in powdered infant formula (PIF), which collected 100 samples from the local market. All results were satisfactory with no E. sakazakii detected.

Enterobacter sakazakii is a pathogen which may cause serious diseases, such as bacteria in blood and brain infection, in people with weakened immune systems including neonates and pre-term infants. E sakazakii is considered to be an environmental organism and is likely to be present in manufacturing facilities and domestic situations. Overseas reports have indicated that PIF is the source and vehicle of infection.

The World Health Organization recommends exclusive breastfeeding for infants in their first six months of life. Caregivers are advised to safely prepare PIF by reconstituting PIF with water at 70oC or above. If not used immediately, prepared PIF should be cooled and stored in the refrigerator, and used within 24 hours of preparation.