Michigan Baby Formula Factory Blamed for Shortage Shut Down Again Due to Major Storm

Severe weather forced Abbott Nutrition to halt production at a Michigan baby formula factory that had just restarted after being closed for several months.

The facility is closely tied to the recent shortage of baby formula.

Production of its special formula EleCare has been suspended, but there is enough supply to meet demand until production restarts, the company said. The company made it a priority to increase production of the special formula for babies with severe food allergies and digestive problems who have few nutrition options.

Abbott says it needs to assess the damage and re-sanitize the factory after severe thunderstorms and heavy rain hit southwestern Michigan on Monday night. The company did not say how much damage the factory suffered.

Abbott had restarted the Sturgis, Michigan, factory on June 4 after being closed since February due to contamination.

The factory was closed after the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) began investigating four bacterial infections among infants consuming powdered formula from the plant. Two of the babies died. The company goes on to state that its products have not been directly linked to the infections, which involved different bacterial strains.

FDA inspectors ultimately uncovered a number of violations at the plant, including bacterial contamination, a leaky roof and lax safety protocols.

Abbott pulled several leading formula brands in February, including Similac. That reduced supplies that had already been affected by supply chain and storage disruptions during the COVID-19 closures.

The company did not offer a time frame in its statement for when production will resume.

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