Michigan Abbott plant restarts production of Similac baby formula

Abbott Nutrition announces this week that it is restarting production of Similac baby formula at its troubled plant in Sturgis, Michigan, which was shut down earlier this year and contributed to a nationwide shortage of infant formula.

The company, which is the largest producer of baby formula in the US, said that it could take up to six weeks for Similac to hit hte shelves.

“We know that the nationwide infant formula shortage has been difficult for the families we serve, and while restarting Similac production in Michigan is an important milestone, we won’t rest until this product is back on shelves,” Abbott Nutrition CEO Robert Ford said in a statement.

Baby formula is displayed on the shelves of a grocery store in Carmel, Ind. on May 10, 2022. (AP Photo/Michael Conroy, File/AP Newsroom)

The Michigan plant was shut down in February and several brands of baby formula were recalled as the FDA investigated bacterial infections in infants, two of which were fatal.

Abbott has said that the bacterial infections were not caused by their products.

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The plant briefly reopened in June for production of EleCare specialty formula but was shut down weeks later due to severe thunderstorms that flooded parts of the facility. It restarted production again in July.

The FDA relaxed import restrictions on foreign-made baby formula in response to the shortages earlier this year.

baby formula

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

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The out-of-stock rate for baby formula reached as high as 43% in May, forcing stores to limit how much customers could purchase.

Walmart Chief Financial Officer John David Rainey, meanwhile, said last week that the shortage had eased in recent weeks.

Reuters contributed to this report.

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