The Abbott Laboratories plant in Michigan, which was at the center of the national infant formula crisis, is producing again.
The struggling plant was closed in February due to contamination and again in June after the facility was flooded by a severe storm.
Production of EleCare, a specialty formula for infants with severe food allergies and digestive issues, was restored at Sturgis after a July 1 restart.
“We are working to restart production of Similac as soon as possible. We will provide more information when we have it,” Abbott spokesman John Koval said by email.
BABY FORMULA PRODUCTION STOPPED AT ABBOTT’S FACTORY IN MICHIGAN DUE TO FLOODING AFTER SEVERE STORMS
Abbott recalled several major infant formula brands in February, including Similac. This has reduced supplies already strained by supply disruptions during COVID-19 shutdowns.
The plant was shut down in February after the Food and Drug Administration began investigating four bacterial infections in infants who consumed powdered formula from the plant. Two of the babies died.
ABBOTT TO REOPEN MICHIGAN PLANT ON JUNE 4, PRIORITIZE SPECIALTY FORMULA PRODUCTION
The closure of the Sturgis plant has exacerbated the industry-wide infant formula shortage. For several months, parents and carers jostled as the shelves grew increasingly empty. Meanwhile, retailers have been forced to place purchase limits on the product to try to reduce stockpiling.
The Michigan plant resumed producing specialty formulas on June 4, only to close again on June 16 when a storm flooded the facility.
REOPENING OF ABBOTT’S BABY FORMULAS FACTORY IN MICHIGAN: HOW LONG BEFORE PARENTS SEE MORE SUPPLY?
President Biden’s administration has since relaxed import rules for foreign manufacturers, airlifted the formula from Europe and invoked federal emergency rules to prioritize U.S. production.
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Abbott is one of only four companies that produce about 90% of the American formula.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.