Understanding Why European Formula Recommends Boiling Infant Formula Water

Understanding Why European Formula Recommends Boiling Infant Formula Water

May 21, 2023E. Parris

When it comes to preparing infant formula, parents often find themselves navigating through various guidelines and recommendations. One particular recommendation that sets European formula apart is the instruction to boil the water before preparing the formula. In this blog post, we will explore the reasons behind this practice and the benefits it offers to ensure the safety and well-being of infants. Let's delve into this topic and understand why European formula emphasizes boiling infant formula water.

  1. Elimination of Harmful Bacteria: Boiling water for infant formula preparation is primarily intended to eliminate potentially harmful bacteria and other microorganisms that may be present in the water. While tap water in many countries is considered safe for consumption, it can still contain trace amounts of bacteria or parasites. Boiling the water helps to kill these pathogens, ensuring that the formula is prepared with sterile water, reducing the risk of infections and gastrointestinal issues in infants.

  2. Protection Against Enteric Pathogens: Boiling water is particularly effective in killing enteric pathogens, including bacteria such as Escherichia coli (E. coli) and Salmonella. These bacteria can cause severe illnesses, especially in infants with developing immune systems. By boiling the water, parents can significantly reduce the chances of their baby being exposed to these harmful pathogens, ensuring their little one's health and safety.

  3. Prevention of Waterborne Diseases: In some regions, the quality of tap water may vary, and waterborne diseases can pose a risk to infants. Boiling water is an effective method to neutralize waterborne pathogens like Cryptosporidium and Giardia, which can cause gastrointestinal illnesses. By boiling the water before preparing infant formula, parents can minimize the risk of their baby contracting these diseases.

  4. Ensuring Safe Formula Preparation: By boiling water, parents not only eliminate potential pathogens in the water but also create a suitable environment for mixing infant formula. Boiling the water can remove chlorine or other disinfectants that may be present in tap water, which can potentially interfere with the formula's composition and affect the baby's digestion. Boiled water, when cooled to an appropriate temperature, provides a clean and neutral base for formula preparation, maintaining its integrity.


The practice of boiling infant formula water in European formula guidelines serves as an essential step in ensuring the safety and well-being of infants. By eliminating harmful bacteria, protecting against enteric pathogens, and preventing waterborne diseases, parents can provide their little ones with a sterile and healthy formula preparation environment. Following these guidelines helps to minimize the risk of infections and other health issues, giving parents peace of mind when it comes to their baby's nutrition.


  1. WWorld Health Organization (WHO). (2018). Guidelines for the safe preparation, storage and handling of powdered infant formula.

  2. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). (2020). Preparing and Handling Infant Formula.

  3. American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP). (2019). Infant Formula: What Parents Need to Know.

  4. National Health Service (NHS). (2018). Making up infant formula.

  5. Health Canada. (2014). Safe Preparation, Storage, and Handling of Powdered Infant Formula: Guidelines.

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