Abbott Nutrition said it could restart baby formula production at its Michigan factory within two weeks

Abbott Nutrition said it could restart baby formula production at its Michigan factory within two weeks
Similac baby formula is displayed on the shelves at Shaker's IGA in Olmsted Falls, Ohio.Mark Duncan/AP Photo
  • Abbott Nutrition said it could restart production at its Michigan factory "within two weeks."
  • The factory has been closed since several formulas produced there were subject to recalls.

Abbott Nutrition said it could restart production of baby formula at its shuttered Michigan plant within two weeks, ending a suspension triggered by complaints of illnesses in children that has contributed to severe shortages of the product.

In a statement posted to its website on Wednesday, Abbott said that it could resume production at its Sturgis, MI factory "within two weeks," pending FDA approval. Abbott said: "After a thorough review of all available data, there is no evidence to link our formulas to these infant illnesses."

Abbott announced in February that is was recalling several lots of the formula brands Similac, Alimentum, and EleCare in February, after four complaints linked to cronobacter sakazakii – an environmental bacteria – in infants who had consumed formula manufactured at the site. According to the FDA, which has been investigating whether the illnesses were linked to the Michigan plant, the sick infants all consumed powdered formula produced there.

The company added Wednesday that all finished products tested by Abbott and the US Food and Drug Administration during an inspection had tested negative for the bacterial strains.

The FDA did not immediately respond to Insider's request for comment.


The recall has worsened a shortage of baby formula across the US, which has left parents grappling to secure tins of their preferred brand. Problems sourcing ingredients and packaging, combined with labor shortages, have crimped supplies of infant formula, prompting some retailers – including Target, CVS, and Walgreens – to impose limits on the number of tins consumers can purchase.

By the end of April, out-of-stock rates for baby formula reached 40% nationwide, according to grocery price tracking service, Datasembly. In six states — Iowa, South Dakota, North Dakota, Missouri, Texas, and Tennessee — out of stock rates hit 50%.

"We understand the situation is urgent – getting Sturgis up and running will help alleviate this shortage," Abbott said in its statement Wednesday.

Abbott said it would restart production of metabolic formulas first before resuming output of other products, adding that it would take around six to eight weeks for products to reach shelves following the restart.