IEN Radio

Abbott to Restart Troubled Baby Formula Plant

May 12, 2022 Eric Sorensen
IEN Radio
Abbott to Restart Troubled Baby Formula Plant
Show Notes

On Wednesday, Abbott Laboratories said that production at a troubled infant formula plant in Michigan could restart within two weeks.

In February, Abbott recalled baby formulas made at its plant in Sturgis after complaints of bacterial infections in infants who drank specific Similac products. As a result, two infants died, and several babies were hospitalized. 

Once the company gets the go-ahead, it will restart EleCare, Alimentum and metabolic formulas first, with Similac and others to follow. 

Unfortunately, it could be six to eight weeks before stores start restocking shelves, which won't help a supply chain already failing in many areas of the country, even the daycare my children attend. 

On April 20th, when the company had to slash its sales forecast for its nutrition division, Abbott called the recall a "short-term hindrance" and noted that it was working with the FDA on corrective actions.

According to the FDA, the Sturgis facility failed to maintain sanitary conditions and procedures at the plant. Abbott didn't keep surfaces clean and had a history of bacteria contamination.

Overall, the company will be fine after reporting $3.3 billion in COVID-19 test sales last quarter. And while the FDA is trying to work with manufacturers to ease supply chain issues, many are already at or exceeding capacity.