US Virgin Islands — The Department of Health advises the public and businesses that the USDA has given a waiver that grants approval to the WIC programs across the nation for the flexibility to allow vendors to exchange the authorized supplemental foods obtained with food instruments (WIC vouchers) to make exchanges for an identical (exact brand and size) food item. The products include: Similac, Alimentum, or EleCare powdered infant formulas with the following lot numbers: the first two digits of the code are 22 through 37 and; the code on the container contains K8, SH, or Z2, and the expiration date is 4-1-2022 (APR 2022) or later.
Under the authority granted in this waiver, WIC participants will be treated like all other customers during the recall. This authority is granted under the Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act (42 U.S.C. 5121-5207), USDA’s Food and Nutrition Service (FNS). As regular customers store policies for returned items may apply. For instance, the store may require receipts for return products, as well as ask that the customer bring the recalled item with them for the equal exchange. If any problem arise, WIC participants are reminded to call their respective WIC clinic as is the normal WIC procedure.
Accordingly, the VI WIC Program has provided guidance to vendors as to how to exchange recalled product for WIC participants, if they have product in stock that has not been recalled. The waiver is specific and applies to replacing recalled Similac powdered infant formulas with the same form of uncalled product or another physical form of the same product which is allowed by the waiver. For example, vendors will be able to replace 1 can of recalled powder with the equivalent of the formula in the concentrate form.
As of Saturday, February 19, 2022, all recalled Similac products were removed from store shelves. WIC participants are reminded the recalled products included: Similac, Alimentum or EleCare powdered infant formulas with lot numbers as follows:
- the first two digits of the code are 22 through 37 and
- the code on the container contains K8, SH, or Z2, and
- the expiration date is 4-1-2022 (APR 2022) or later.
The code is printed on the product packaging near the expiration date (see product image below – photos are also available in link above).
The Department of Health advises parents to remain vigilant and to monitor their children for signs and symptoms of fever, diarrhea, vomiting, stomach discomfort, or irritability. If these symptoms arise after drinking the identified formula recall, parents are advised to take the child to their pediatrician, urgent care center, or the emergency room.
More information on the recall is available at: FDA Investigation of Cronobacter and Salmonella Complaints: Powdered Infant Formula (February 2022) | FDA
Information on the USDA waiver can be found at: https://www.fns.usda.gov/wic/supply-chain-Abbot-vendor-exchanges