Cronobacter sakazakii, the bacteria linked to recent baby formula shortages and the Abbott infant formula recall, could soon join the federal disease watchlist. In this episode of the Xtalks Food Podcast, Sydney talks about Cronobacter sakazakii, a bacteria that can cause severe infections, particularly in infants, and is associated with high mortality rates. It is commonly found in the environment, including in water, soil and dry foods such as powdered infant formula. In an outbreak that the CDC investigated last year, four babies were sickened, including two who died. In June, the Council of State and Territorial Epidemiologists (CSTE) will vote to decide if it will officially recommend adding Cronobacter infections to the list of nationally notifiable diseases to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Currently, only Minnesota and Michigan require doctors to report Cronobacter cases, which can be diagnosed as sepsis or meningitis, conditions that can result from infection.
Also in this episode, Sydney talks about Coca-Cola owned Fairlife milk, which will receive a significant boost of $650 million as the company prepares to construct a new production facility in Webster, upstate New York. The Fairlife milk brand was founded in 2012 by husband and wife duo Mike and Sue McCloskey to offer a new type of milk that could provide families with better nutrition from the wholesome goodness of real milk. Fairlife milk boasts 50 percent higher levels of protein and calcium while containing 50 percent less sugar compared to traditional milk, while also being lactose-free. Despite an undercover video showing workers at one of Fairlife’s milk suppliers abusing calves and subsequent lawsuits, Fairlife milk has been dominating the milk category, earning over $1 billion in annual retail sales in 2022. The team asserts that animal abuse is not exclusive to Fairlife and wonders whether consumers seek value-added milk.
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