Ohio couple outraged after finding bug in baby formula

By Kimberly Holmes – bio | email

MARIEMONT, OH (FOX19)  - New parents Anthony and Rachel Barriga would do anything to protect their eight-month-old baby Noah. That's why they couldn't believe Abbott Laboratories was recalling five million cans of Similac, Noah's formula.

"I was quite upset because we'd already fed him some milk from the powdered containers," said Rachel.

A spokesperson for Abbott Laboratories said the company found beetles, larvae, and insect parts in powder formula in a plant in Michigan.

After the heard the news this morning, the couple threw out all of their cans of powder formula. Those were supposed to be the only ones affected. They kept the three cans of ready-made liquid formula to use while they ran some errands.

Anthony said hours later, they spotted what he believes is part of an insect in one of their containers of liquid formula.

"We were pretty shocked," said Anthony. "I actually saw it go into the bottle that we were pouring into. We had to stop, race into one of the restaurants, grab a teaspoon, try to fish it back out, and try to make sure we'd actually see what we'd thought we'd seen."

The Barrigas returned the container to the store where they bought the formula, but local managers told the couple to call Abbott Laboratories.

"I rang them, and I just got a voice message that due to the numerous calls they couldn't take my call," said Anthony. "And then it just disconnected."

The Barrigas even called local health officials, but no one could seem to help.

"I just wonder what other bugs might have been in previous things that we fed him that we didn't notice," said Rachel. "You just associate it with a lack of hygiene."

Tonight, Rachel and Anthony have done the one thing they know will help Noah: switching brands.

"I'd say I've lost a little bit of faith in that brand," said Anthony. "It was something that was sold to us at the hospital when he was born so we were kind of loyal to that product."

The Barrigas aren't alone. Abbott Laboratories expects to lose $100-million because of the recall.

The company says customers should return the products to them for a full refund.

The lot numbers of Similac infant formula included in the recall were lot numbers 87932T20, 88117T26, 78208T2, 88136T20, 91433t20 and 90372T20. However, Abbott Laboratories insists that Abbott liquid formula is not at all part of the Similac recall.

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. For much of the day and night on Thursday, both the website and the hotline were experiencing a high volume of traffic.


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