April 22, 2024

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Warning: Prepare Powdered Milk for Infants at 70°C (158°F) or Higher to Prevent Deadly Bacteria

Warning: Prepare Powdered Milk for Infants at 70°C (158°F) or Higher to Prevent Deadly Bacteria

Warning: Prepare Powdered Milk for Infants at 70°C (158°F) or Higher to Prevent Deadly Bacteria

“Powdered milk must be prepared at 70°C or higher” – Pediatrician warns that the deadly Sakazakii bacteria cannot be eliminated if prepared at low temperatures.

An Instagram post from a parenting account introducing an overseas-made “automatic milk maker” for infant formula, aiming to make childcare easier and more fashionable, has sparked discussion on X (formerly Twitter).

While commercially available powdered milk in Japan meets safety standards, there is a slight possibility that harmful bacteria, including the life-threatening Sakazakii bacteria, may be present in reconstituted milk. Therefore, it is essential to prepare powdered milk at 70°C or higher, cool it to around 40°C, and then feed it to infants.

However, the milk maker in question, claimed to be from the United States, cannot prepare milk at temperatures above 70°C.

In response to the life-threatening situation for infants, many pediatricians and healthcare professionals have posted warnings. Among them, Dr. Seimu, a pediatrician, suggested a different name that clearly indicates the danger of Sakazakii bacteria and the correct way to prepare powdered milk, which received over 26,000 likes.

“A bacteria that causes infantile enteritis and meningitis, leading to death if milk is prepared below 70°C”
“The name Sakazakii sounds misleading, so why not call it ‘Infantile Enteritis and Meningitis Bacteria, Lethal Below 70°C for Infants’? Everyone would warm the milk to 70°C or higher then.”

As suggested by Dr. Seimu’s proposed name, infants, especially those under one year old, may develop sepsis or necrotizing enterocolitis if infected with Sakazakii bacteria. There is also a possibility of developing severe meningitis or encephalitis, which can lead to death, with a mortality rate of 20-50%.

However, Sakazakii bacteria are deactivated at temperatures above 70°C, so the Japan Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare’s guidelines state, “When preparing powdered milk for infants, the water used should be maintained at 70°C or higher.”

In response to a reply asking, “Have there been any cases in Japan?” Dr. Seimu, who replied, “Yes, there have been cases in Japan too! Especially preterm infants need to be careful!” was asked about Sakazakii bacteria, also known as “Infantile Enteritis and Meningitis Bacteria, Lethal Below 70°C for Infants.”

“Don’t be swayed by online information – What kind of infection is Sakazakii bacteria from the perspective of a pediatrician?”

“The frequency of occurrence is low, but it becomes severe when it does, so it is an important infection to prevent.”

“Many people may not be aware of it because the frequency of occurrence is low… There are probably few pediatricians who have experience treating infants infected with Sakazakii. Some mothers may remember that it was okay to use 60°C when they were raising their children… But considering the severity of the infection when it occurs, it is a disease that must be prevented.”

“As a pediatrician, is there anything you would like parents to know?”

“Do not be swayed by information found on the internet. Please value the information provided by your regular pediatrician and public institutions such as the Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare and the Pediatric Society.”

In X, there were posts saying, “It is common overseas to use water or lukewarm water,” but according to the Cabinet Office’s “Food Safety Commission” website, in the United States, between September 2021 and January 2022, four infants who drank powdered milk from a major American manufacturer became infected with Sakazakii bacteria, and two of them died.

As Dr. Seimu mentioned, it is wise not to be swayed by seemingly comforting internet information and to consult your regular doctor or check information from public institutions if you have any concerns or questions.

Warning: Prepare Powdered Milk for Infants at 70°C (158°F) or Higher to Prevent Deadly Bacteria

What is Sakazakii bacteria?


Sakazakii bacteria, formally known as Cronobacter sakazakii, are a group of bacteria that can cause severe, and sometimes fatal, infections in infants.

These bacteria are commonly found in the environment and can survive in dry conditions, making powdered infant formula a potential source of infection if not prepared properly.

Sakazakii infections can lead to serious conditions such as sepsis, meningitis, and necrotizing enterocolitis, particularly in premature or immunocompromised infants.

Proper preparation of powdered infant formula, including using water at 70°C or higher, is crucial to prevent Sakazakii infections in infants.

Warning: Prepare Powdered Milk for Infants at 70°C (158°F) or Higher to Prevent Deadly Bacteria

(source:internet, reference only)

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