Microbiological safety of reconstituting powdered infant formula

As powdered infant formula is not a sterile product, it is important that infant formula is prepared in a manner that controls pathogen growth and minimises the risk of illness.

Despite very strict measures controlling pathogens during manufacture powdered infant formula is not a sterile product and low levels of contamination by Cronobacter (and other pathogens) may occur.

There is also nothing intrinsic in powdered infant formula that would prevent bacterial growth if reconstituted formula is not prepared or stored correctly. Therefore, it is important that infant formula is prepared in a manner that controls pathogen growth and minimises risk of illness.

The Ministry of Health commissioned and funded this review on the microbiological safety of reconstituting powdered infant formula. This technical report has been accepted as advice to the Ministry of Health and will be used to inform policy development but not necessarily adopted as Ministry policy.

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