A total of 90 samples comprising powdered infant formulas (n=51), follow-up formulas (n=21), and infant foods (n=18) from 15 domestic and imported brands were purchased from various retailers in Klang Valley, Malaysia and evaluated in terms of microbiological quality and the similarity of rehydration instructions on the product label to guidelines set by the World Health Organization. Microbiological analysis included the determination of aerobic plate count (APC) and the presence of Enterobacteriaceae and Cronobacter spp. Isolates of interest were identified using ID 32E (bioMérieux France, Craponne, France). In this study, 87% of powdered infant formulas, follow-up formulas, and infant foods analyzed had an APC below the permitted level of <10(4) cfu/g. These acceptable APC ranged between <10(2) to 7.2×10(3) cfu/g. The most frequently isolated Enterobacteriaceae was Enterobacter cloacae, which was present in 3 infant formulas and 1 infant food tested. Other Enterobacteriaceae detected from powdered infant and follow-up formulas were Citrobacter spp., Klebsiella spp., and other Enterobacter spp. No Cronobacter species were found in any samples. Rehydration instructions from the product labels were collated and it was observed that none directed the use of water with a temperature >70°C for formula preparation, as specified by the 2008 revised World Health Organization guidelines. Six brands instructed the use of water at 40 to 55°C, a temperature range that would support the survival and even growth of Enterobacteriaceae.
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