How to travel safely with infant formula?

It is much safer to prepare bottles of infant formula at the destination, rather than transporting bottles of prepared formula.

There are a number of special containers available designed to carry single serves of infant formula. It is also recommended to take one or more separate sterilised bottles of cooled boiled water at the correct volume, so the formula can be prepared at the destination. Alternatively, single-serve sachets of infant formula powder are available. Manufacturer’s instructions should always be checked before use.2

Ready-made bottles of prepared formula can be a breeding ground for bacteria if the bottles have been sitting in a car or baby bag for several hours, especially on a warm day. Because of the potential for growth of harmful bacteria during transport, feeds should first be cooled to less than 5°C in a refrigerator and then transported.2

  • Prepare the feed and put in the refrigerator.
  • Ensure feed is cold before transporting.
  • Do not remove feed from the refrigerator until immediately before transporting.
  • Transport feed in a cool bag with ice packs.
  • Use feeds transported in a cool bag within 2 hours, as most cool bags do not always keep foods adequately chilled.
  • Re-warm at the destination (for no more than 15 minutes).
  • If the destination is reached within 2 hours, feeds transported in a cool bag can be placed in a refrigerator and held for up to 24 hours from the time of preparation.