Abbott Nutrition resumes infant formula production at its Michigan plant amid national shortages

Abbott Nutrition announced Saturday that its Sturgis, Michigan plant is resuming infant formula production and estimated that its EleCare infant formula would be back on shelves starting around June 20.

Abbott said in a statement that initial requirements under a consent agreement reached with the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) last month have been met, allowing the formula maker to restart operations.

“Abbott begins production of EleCare and other specialty and metabolic formulas, with the initial release of the EleCare product to consumers beginning on or about June 20,” Abbott said. “We are also working hard to complete the steps necessary to restart production of Similac and other formulas and will do so as soon as possible.”

“We understand the urgent need for infant formula, and our top priority is to get high-quality, safe formula into the hands of families across America. We will ramp up production as quickly as possible while meeting all requirements,” the manufacturer added.

Abbott recalled several of its powdered products, including Similac, Alimentum and EleCare, in February after four cases of a rare bacterial disease contracted by babies who were allegedly fed formula.

The facility halted production, and federal authorities investigated the factory.

The shutdown was one of the factors that led to a nationwide shortage of infant formula, along with supply chain grunts and other factors.

Different strains of cronobacter have been found at the facility, but Abbott said that’s not to blame, saying the cronobacter detected at his plant doesn’t match samples from several infants who fell ill from formula. .

The FDA said officials were on site at the Michigan facilities to examine equipment, roofing and flooring, in addition to environmental testing conducted by both an independent expert and Abbott.

Other requirements under the consent decree that Abbott had to meet were to provide the FDA with an independent expert report and to audit certain procedures.

“The agency expects the measures and procedures [the company] is taking, and the ability for Abbott Nutrition’s Sturgis, Michigan plant to resume production safely in the near term, will mean that more infant formula is either on the way or already on the shelves of stores in the future,” an FDA spokesperson said. in a report.

The development comes as FDA Commissioner Robert Califf warned late last month that the national infant formula shortage was unlikely to end until late July.

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