Frequently Asked Questions

Get the answers to frequently asked questions about Abbott Nutrition, your nutrition partner.


Where do I get ingredient and nutrition information about your products?
How do I get samples of your products for my patients to try?
Where can my patients buy your products?
What are the hang times for tube-feeding products?
What is the hang time for your Pediatric Nutritional Products?
How should your infant formulas be stored?
Why are the storage times so different for all of the different forms?
Are Abbott Nutrition enteral feeding devices latex free?
Which of your products are certified as kosher?


Q: Where do I get ingredient and nutrition information about your products?

A: Visit the Our Products section for detailed nutritional information on the products you're looking for or refer to the product label.

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Q: How do I get samples of your products for my patients to try?

A: If you would like to speak with an Abbott Nutrition sales representative, please contact us at (800) 551-5838. Let us know your area of specialization and the product you are inquiring about, and our product experts will be happy to assist you.

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Q: Where can my patients buy your products?

A: Our infant formulas and many of our adult nutritional products can be found at any retail pharmacy or grocery store. Please use our Store Locator to identify stores in your area where you can purchase our products. Products can also be purchased from our on-line store.

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Q: What are the hang times for tube-feeding products?

A: Ready-to-use feedings that have been prepared using clean techniques to decant them into administration containers may be hung safely at the bedside for eight to 12 hours.

An Abbott Nutrition product that is in a ready-to-hang container may be hung for up to 48 hours after being spiked, providing a clean technique is used and only one new feeding set is used. If a second set or container is used, the hang time reverts to 24 hours. Using a clean technique with a single feeding set is critical to achieving 48-hour hang time.

The hang time for the RTH container is determined by the type of set that is being used:

  • Piercing Pin sets: Hang product up to 48 hours after initial spike when clean technique and only one new set is used. Otherwise, hang no longer than 24 hours.
  • Screw Cap sets: Hang product up to 24 hours when clean technique and only one Screw Cap feeding set is used.

Hang time for reconstituted powdered products for use in adults should be limited to four hours.

In all cases, label instructions should be followed to ensure sanitary handling techniques.

Reference for hang times:
Preventing Microbial Contamination of Enteral Formulas and Delivery Systems (Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point (HACCP) in the Clinical Setting -- 63378/September 2003, Abbott Nutrition.

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Q: What is the hang time for your Pediatric Nutritional Products?

A: Medical literature (American Dietetic Association) suggests that a hang time of four to eight hours is acceptable for commercially sterile, ready-to-feed products when carefully poured from the packaged container into a tube-feeding setup. This includes Abbott Nutrition ready-to-feed infant formulas and PediaSure® products.

Any feedings that are reconstituted with water or modified in any way should be prepared using aseptic technique and should hang for no more than four hours. This includes concentrated liquid and powder formulas, fortified human milk, and any feedings to which other ingredients* are added.

In each health care facility, it is important to involve the appropriate professionals in developing procedures for using a safe technique in the preparation and use of tube feedings and in setting quality assurance protocols for monitoring those techniques.

*Other ingredients may include nutritional liquids, powders, supplemental foods, or medications such as ready-to-feed, concentrated liquid, or powder formula, Polycose, oils, human-milk fortifiers, thickeners, cereals, strained or other foods, juices, medications, and other nutrient modules (vitamins, minerals, carbohydrates, proteins, fats).

References:
1. American Dietetic Association. Infant Feedings: Guidelines for Preparation of Formula and Breastmilk in Health Care Facilities. Chicago: American Dietetic Association 2004.

Note: This information is now available in written form for health care professionals in the
"Pediatric Nutritionals Product Guide." (See "Hang Time" in the Table of Contents.)

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Q: How should your infant formulas be stored?

A: General Temperature Guidelines
General recommended storage temperatures for our sealed infant formulas and pediatric nutritional products (PediaSure® and EleCare®) are between 32 and 95 degrees Fahrenheit (F). The most desirable temperature range for storage of unopened containers is between 55 and 75 degrees F. Storage at these temperatures will assure the highest-quality product, both aesthetically and nutritionally.

Unopened products should be stored in a cool, dry area (not in high humidity or wet areas). Excess humidity can cause container and packaging damage. Prolonged exposure to temperatures below 32 degrees F or to direct heat above 95 degrees F could affect the physical consistency of the product. While liquid products within sealed containers are commercially sterile, a change in the consistency of the product could temporarily affect an infant's sensitive system. Therefore, we do not recommend use of product exposed to extreme temperatures.

Extreme Storage Conditions
Storage conditions can dramatically affect the quality of food products. Exposing foods to extreme temperatures can compromise the sensory characteristics (e.g., taste, color, aroma) and physical characteristics that make products pleasing and encourage consumption.

The infant formula labels on Similac® products include the phrase "avoid extreme temperatures." Do not freeze formula products or store at greater than 95 degrees F. Excess temperatures, even for short time periods, can cause physical changes in the products, rendering them undesirable or unusable.

Additional Powder Storage Recommendations
Powdered formula should be used within one month from opening. Although the powders will not "spoil" from a microbiological perspective, some of the vitamins and fatty acids will degrade over time when exposed to oxygen. We recommend storing powder in a cool, dry area. Opened powder cans should be covered; they should not be stored in the refrigerator.



Usage Time Frames

Product Form/Container Storage of Unopened Container Storage of Opened, Recapped, or Covered Container Storage of Prepared Formula in Bottles*
Plastic 32-fl-oz Ready to Feed Bottle
(except Alimentum®)
Store in cool, dry area; 55 to 75 degrees F is ideal. Refrigerate for up to 72 hours. Refrigerate for up to 48 hours.
Ready to Feed Products (not in plastic bottle) and any Ready to Feed Alimentum® Store in cool, dry area; 55 to 75 degrees F is ideal. Refrigerate for up to 48 hours. Refrigerate for up to 48 hours.
Concentrated Liquid Store in cool, dry area; 55 to 75 degrees F is ideal. Refrigerate for up to 48 hours. Refrigerate for up to 48 hours.
Powder Store in cool, dry area; 55 to 75 degrees F is ideal. Store in cool, dry area (not in refrigerator) for up to one month. Refrigerate for up to 24 hours.


*In individual feeding bottles or in any container other than the original, purchased container.



Product Form/Container Storage of Opened (Ready to Feed) or Prepared Bottles Outside of the Refrigerator Storage of Bottle After Feeding
All Product Forms Prepared formula should not be left unrefrigerated. (If accidentally left at room temperature [< 90 degrees F], product should be discarded within two hours; if warmed [> 90 degrees F], product should be discarded within one hour). Once feeding begins, product should be used or discarded within one hour; formula should not be refrigerated after heating or feeding.

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Q: Why are the storage times so different for all of the different forms?

A: The storage times differ with the form (liquid or powder) of the starting product and the amount of manipulation or handling required to prepare the product (see table above).

Sterile, ready-to-feed formula is less likely to be contaminated by the preparer than is a product that requires more steps to make. In fact, studies with the large, plastic, reclosable bottle of formula show that it can be refrigerated for 72 hours (except Alimentum®, 48 hours) after opening as long as the user carefully pours formula from the bottle and recloses the lid without touching the mouth of the bottle. Because we cannot guarantee the cleanliness of the consumer's baby bottles, we are more conservative with their recommended refrigerated storage times (48 hours).

Preparing concentrated liquid and powdered formula requires more steps and equipment than it takes to prepare ready-to-feed formula. Countertops, utensils, and human hands can potentially be contaminated with bacteria. (Remember that bacteria are so small they cannot be seen.) These bacteria could grow and potentially cause illness in the baby, especially if the prepared formula is held at room temperature or warmer. Refrigeration limits the growth of bacteria.

Powdered nutritional products are not sterile. Currently, it is not technically feasible to sterilize powders. Our manufacturing processes and testing programs minimize the potential bacterial count in powder. In the sealed can, the low moisture content prevents any bacteria from multiplying in the dry powder. Bacteria prefer a liquid environment to grow. Therefore, the "storage time clock" starts as soon as the powder is added to water. After preparation from powder, formula should be consumed immediately or refrigerated for up to 24 hours.

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Q: Are Abbott Nutrition enteral feeding devices latex free?

A: Yes, all enteral feeding tubes and bag sets manufactured and distributed by the Abbott Nutrition Products Division (ANPD) of Abbott are latex free and are in full compliance with federal regulations pertaining to latex labeling.

Please direct inquiries to the Abbott Nutrition Device Call Center at 1-800-231-3330, Monday through Friday between the hours of 8:30 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. EST.

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Q: Which of your products are certified as kosher?

A: A complete list of products and letter of certification can be found in this PDF: Kosher Certification.

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