Infant formula in baby bottles to be prepared as fresh as possible
The hygienic requirements for infant formula are very high. For this reason, infections caused by pathogenic germs are rare. Nevertheless, in exceptional cases, contamination of baby food may occur, because many types of germs survive the manufacturing process for food in powder form. They can then multiply in the prepared food. In addition, baby formula can be contaminated with germs via spoons, teats or baby bottles when the formula is prepared. Against this background, the Federal Institute for Risk Assessment (BfR) has published recommendations for the preparation of infant formula in powder form. "The recommendations of the BfR apply to healthy babies born after a full-term pregnancy", says BfR President Professor Dr. Dr. Andreas Hensel. "In clinics, special milk rooms should, if at all possible, be set up for the production of infant formula in which comprehensive hygienic requirements are implemented. This notably also applies to infant formula preparation for prematurely born and immunodeficient babies."
The BfR recommends that water that has been boiled is used for preparing infant formula in the first months of a baby’s life. To shake the powder, water temperatures of up to 50 °C are sufficient for healthy babies born after a full-term pregnancy. Longer periods of more than two hours from the time the formula is prepared to consumption, or during cooling and reheating, with a storage temperature above 5° C should be avoided at all costs. Any residue of prepared food should be disposed of. Contamination with germs during preparation can be prevented by washing the kitchen utensils used for this purpose in the dishwasher at 65 °C or by thoroughly cleaning them with hot water and detergent.
These recommendations apply to the preparation of infant formula in powder form for healthy babies born after a full-term pregnancy who live in private households, childcare facilities and also in clinics. The BfR believes that in clinics, special milk rooms should, if at all possible, be set up for the production of infant formula in which comprehensive hygienic requirements are implemented. This notably also applies to the infant preparation for prematurely born and immunodeficient babies. In addition, the health situation of such infants requires that individualised nutrition recommendations are made which take medical considerations into account.
The BfR has published its recommendations in an opinion (Recommendations on the hygienic Preparation of Infant Formula in Powder from, BfR Opinion from 6 November 2012). This document is available on the Internet for download as a PDF file.
As a matter of principle, the BfR-based National Breastfeeding Committee draws the attention of the public to the fact that breast milk is the ideal food for babies: breast milk is impeccable from a hygiene point of view, it is readily available, and it always has the right temperature. In addition, breastfed children become ill less frequently, because the antibodies in the breast milk protect them from infectious diseases.
The breastfeeding recommendations of the National Breastfeeding Committee are available in German, Turkish, Russian, English, French and Italian. They can be downloaded on the webpages of the BfR as PDF files free of charge. Alternatively, they can be requested from the Secretariat of the National Breastfeeding Committee: firstname.lastname@example.org
About the BfR
The Federal Institute for Risk Assessment (BfR) is a scientific institution within the portfolio of the Federal Ministry of Food, Agriculture and Consumer Protection (BMELV). It advises the Federal Government and Federal Laender on questions of food, chemical and product safety. The BfR conducts its own research on topics that are closely linked to its assessment tasks.