Nationwide baby formula shortage worsens as supply dwindles down.
America’s baby formula shortage is becoming a full on national crisis. Parents who use recalled Similac, Alimentum and EleCare powdered formulas are encouraged to stop use.
In many states, including Michigan and Texas, more than half of formula inventory is out-of-stock. Amid medical conditions such as food allergies and gastrointestinal issues, parents are scrambling to find their children’s specific formula and alternatives.
Many stores such a Walgreens, CVS, Kroger and other grocery stores have begun limiting product purchases to keep families from stockpiling available inventory.
Even with such product limits in place, experts and non-profit organizations say low-income families and children with special needs in rural areas will be most affected by the dramatic fallout of the formula shortage.
“It’s completely unfair. In a home where I have twin infants to feed, the product limit means my children will get 50% less food than a home with only one infant,” One mom of multiples said. “As if it hasn’t been hard enough to find their brand in stores, now I have to drive to multiple stores just to get what they need.”
The Food and Drug Administration reported consumer complaints of bacterial infections in four infants who consumed powdered infant formula produced in Abbott Nutrition’s facility in Sturgis, Michigan. They said in a statement, “All four infants had to be hospitalized and the bacterial infection may have contributed to death in two patients.”
The powdered formula consumed has been linked to a some risk of Cronobacter contamination. The FDA says contaminated baby-formulas should no longer be available in retail stores and parents are encouraged to check their home for any possible recalled brands.
A full list of recalled brands was published by the FDA.
This bacteria, the virus that led to the global pandemic in 2019 and caused extreme supply chain issues across the country is ultimately what led to this now baby-fomula shortage and national crisis.
The FDA suggests that parents who have children with special medical nutrition needs contact their children’s health care provider for recommendations on changing feeding practices, if regular formula is not available.
The FDA also says, “If you get infant formula through WIC, do not throw the formula out. Instead, you should take it to the store for a refund and exchange or call the company at 1-800-986-8540 to help you. WIC recipients should be able to obtain a different brand of similar formula. Call your local WIC clinic for more guidance.”
- Infant Formula: Safety Do’s and Don’ts, FDA Consumer Update
- FDA Investigation of Cronobacter Infections: Powdered Infant Formula (February 2022), FDA webpage
- Cronobacter Infection and Infants, CDC webpage