After the FDA began examining four bacterial infections among infants who received the powdered formula from the plant, Abbott one of the United States’ largest manufacturers of baby formula halted the operation of its facility in Michigan in February.
Early this month, Abbott resumed production at the plant under a legally binding agreement with FDA.
More baby formula supply from Abbott Nutrition’s Sturgis plant was set to hit store shelves Monday. Now, the company said production and distribution will likely be delayed for a few weeks. #BabyFormulaShortage 🍼
— Lexie Petrovic (@lexie_petrovic) June 16, 2022
However, in less than two weeks after re-starting operations, the company’s Sturgis facility is closed again for the second time around.
Abbott Nutrition stated late Wednesday night in a statement that the severe thunderstorms that hit southwestern Michigan on Monday caused “high winds, hail, power outages, and flood damage,” as well as “flooding in sections of the city, including regions of our plant.
“As a result, Abbott has stopped production of its EleCare specialty formula that was underway to assess damage caused by the storm and clean and re-sanitize the plant,” the statement said.
“This will likely delay production and distribution of new product for a few weeks,” the company added.
Today, we were made aware of the weather-related situation at Abbott’s Sturgis, Mich. facility. I personally spoke to the CEO tonight and we discussed our shared desire to get the facility up and running again as quickly as possible.
— Dr. Robert M. Califf (@DrCaliff_FDA) June 16, 2022
After the deaths of two newborns raised worries about contamination, the company, shut down in February and issued a product recall. This deteriorated into a widespread formula scarcity due to supply concerns, which was especially worrying for parents of newborns with allergies or certain metabolic abnormalities, which frantically searched stores and internet sources for the specialist formulae.
The formula shortage comes at a time when soaring inflation and supply-chain delays have fanned a growing sense of unease among many American families, and Biden’s critics have seized on the situation to question the competence of his administration.
“We have informed FDA and will conduct comprehensive testing in conjunction with the independent third party to ensure the plant is safe to resume production,” Abbott Nutrition said Wednesday.
However, Abbott Nutrition did not provide an estimated date for reopening after this latest closure.