Baby Formula Plant Resumes Production Amid Continued Shortage
By Bill Galluccio
June 4, 2022
Abbott Nutrition has resumed production at its baby formula plant in Sturgis, Michigan, on Saturday (June 4). The company said it will be producing specialty formulas for infants with allergies and digestive problems such as EleCare and expects to begin shipping them by June 20.
The plant was closed down after a bacterial infection that resulted in the deaths of two infants was linked to powdered baby formula. The Food and Drug Administration received reports of the infections in September, and in October, a whistleblower provided a detailed report of safety lapses at the Abbot factory. The agency didn't send inspectors until after the first of the year and then made the decision to shut down the plant in February.
The plant's closure worsened an ongoing baby formula shortage, resulting in empty shelves across the country.
Last month, the FDA reached an agreement with Abbott, which is the largest baby formula manufacturer in the country, to reopen the plant.
"We understand the urgent need for formula, and our top priority is getting high-quality, safe formula into the hands of families across America," an Abbott spokesperson said. "We will ramp production as quickly as we can while meeting all requirements. "
The FDA said it will continue to monitor production at the facility as it resumes production.
"The agency expects that the measures and steps it is taking, and the potential for Abbott Nutrition's Sturgis, Michigan, facility, to safely resume production in the near-term, will mean more and more infant formula is either on the way to or already on store shelves moving forward," the agency said.