Powdered infant formulae are low-germ, but not sterile. That means that they might contain a very marginal amount of unfavourable germs. To prevent these germs from proliferating in the ready-to-drink formula, it is important to ensure the safe preparation and safe handling of the formula.
Prepare infant formula safely
Basic rules of hygiene
- Clean the work surface thoroughly and use soap and warm, running water to wash your hands thoroughly.
- Do not prepare infant formula and raw foodstuffs next to one another at the same time.
- Prepare formula from scratch for each meal and feed it immediately.
- Discard any leftovers and do not use them for the next meal. Do not store already prepared formula in the refrigerator.
- Keeping already prepared formulae warm by using a bottle warmer or a thermos flask must be avoided at all costs.
- Clean bottle, teat and ring thoroughly immediately after the feeding.
- It is advisable to boil out rubber teats/latex teats from time to time (not necessary for silicone teats).
Step by step to the ready-to-drink bottle feed
Boil fresh drinking water and leave it to cool to approx. 40 - 50 °C*. Scalding, loss of nutrients and damage to any probiotic bacteria that may have been supplemented will be avoided at these temperatures.
Pour the required amount of boiled water into the feeding bottle.
Fill the measuring spoon loosely and level excessive powder to avoid overdosing. Put the recommended amount of powder into the feeding bottle.
Close the feeding bottle and shake till the powder has dissolved completely.
Allow the prepared formula to cool down to drinking temperature (approximately 37 °C) as quickly as possible. Check temperature.
Tip: A good way to test the temperature is to drip a few drops of formula onto the inside of your wrist: the milk should feel warm but not hot.
* 40 - 50 °C is reached when the bottle is not too hot to be touched and the water does not steam any longer.
- Always follow the instructions on the packaging.
- Keep strictly to the stated amount of powder and water according to the dosage table. This is important for the composition of nutrients and the digestibility of the Formula.
- Only use the measuring spoon enclosed in the packaging.
- Do not warm up the formula in the microwave oven (danger of scalding).
Suitable water: Fresh tap water may be used for the preparation of formula feed, provided that it is of drinking water quality. Warning! Tap water is not suitable, in case of: lead pipes, regions with increased levels of uranium (>10 or 15 µg/l), unchecked domestic wells, water filters or household boilers. If necessary, parents should inquire the water quality at the local waterworks and if there’s a doubt, a sample should be analyzed.
Alternatives to tap water are bottled still water or special baby spring water with the words "suitable for the preparation of milk formulae" written on the container.
Preparation according to the instructions: Always prepare freshly, portion precisely by using the enclosed measuring spoon, feed immediately and dispose of leftovers.
Tip when you are out and about
Take boiled water in a clean and closed thermos flask and already portioned milk powder with in a clean and dry feeding bottle.
- If required, prepare the formula freshly and feed it immediately.
Alternatively: offer ready-to-drink infant formulae that can also be offered cold (at room
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2 Schnakenburg K et al., Monatsschr Kinderheilkd 2005; 153:495-500.
3 Bührer C et al., Monatsschr Kinderheilkd 2014; 162:527-538.
4 EFSA, EFSA Journal 2004; 113:1-35.
5 BfR, Stellungnahme Nr. 040/2012.
6 Agostoni C et al., JPGN 2004, 39:320-322.