May 13, 2022

Infant formula shortages continue, experts hope increased production will end battle

EVANSVILLE, Ind. (WFIE) – It’s been nearly two months since Abbott issued a mass infant formula recall in the United States, citing that they had “consumer complaints related to Cronobacter sakazakii or Salmonella Newport in infants who had consumed powdered infant formula manufactured at this facility.

Abbott released a statement on February 17 that said:

“Abbott is initiating a proactive and voluntary recall of powdered formulas including Similac, Alimentum and EleCare manufactured in Sturgis, Michigan, one of the company’s manufacturing facilities.”

Officials with WICa health program as part of the USDA for pregnant or postpartum women, explained to me how a recall like this happens.

“Recalled product is all products that are traced back to that individual manufacturing facility and does not necessarily indicate all Similac products,” says an expert from the National WIC Association.

A mass recall like this for an entire manufacturing plant can push back the amount of product on the shelves for quite some time.

WIC explained that in some states, like Kentucky, Similac is the only formula their services will cover for people, so it’s become a big deal to get people what they need.

“Some states only offered Similac,” says an expert from the National WIC Association, “so when Similac wasn’t available, you had to add new products and that creates a different permutation of the supply chain.”

Fortunately, those same experts say other manufacturers have ramped up production and the end may be in sight.

“Over the next two weeks, I would expect to see shortages consistent with what we’ve already seen,” says an expert from the National WIC Association, “hopefully later this spring, early in the summer, many of these challenges will hopefully be resolved due to increased production.

For now, those in need of formula are encouraged to go ahead and call ahead any store they wish to obtain formula from.

WIC pushes the idea that “your phone is your friend”. If one store doesn’t have the formula you need, another might as well.

Reckitt in Evansville manufactures Enfamil. They say they are working to resolve issues as quickly as possible to meet everyone’s needs.

If you have trouble finding products, they advise you to contact their call center directly.

Reckitt’s full statement:

Abbott’s full statement:

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