HomeBusinessAbbott's struggling infant formula factory resumes operations

Abbott’s struggling infant formula factory resumes operations

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.

Abbott Laboratories factory reopens in Sturgis, Michigan

FILE PHOTO: The Abbott Laboratories facility where dozens of types of recalled powdered baby formula were manufactured leading to a halt in production at the site in Sturgis, Michigan May 20, 2022. REUTERS / Eric Cox / File Photo (REUTERS/Eric Cox/File Photo/Reuters Photos)

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.

Shortage-of-baby-formula

Shelves usually stocked with formula milk are mostly empty at a store in San Antonio, Tuesday, May 10, 2022. (AP Photo/Eric Gay/AP Newsroom)

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.

Maryland formula

Yury Navas, 29, of Laurel, Md., kisses his two-month-old baby, Jose Ismael Gálvez, at the Superbest International Market in Laurel, Md., Monday, May 23, 2022, while shopping for formula. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin/AP Newsroom)

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ABT ABBOTT LABORATORIES 109.26 -0.23 -0.21%

Abbott is one of only four companies that produce about 90% of the American formula.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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