Take a fresh look at your lifestyle.

Abbott’s baby food factory FINALLY reopens after shutting down the contagion four months ago

0

The largest baby food factory in the US has resumed production at its previously closed Michigan facility.

Abbott Laboratories resumed infant formula production at its Sturgis, Michigan facility on Saturday after meeting FDA requirements agreed to last month.

The plant will first restart production of specialty and metabolic formulas, with consumers expected to see these products on store shelves around June 20.

Abbott will then resume production on all other formulas, with the factory previously saying it will take six to eight weeks to replenish stock in stores.

A nationwide shortage of baby food started when Abbot closed the Sturgis factory in February following a bacterial contamination and has since worsened across the country.

According to data from Datasembly, the number of sold-out products rose to 74 percent nationally for the week ending May 28, a 4 percent increase from the week before.

In addition, 10 states now have stocks of 90 percent or more, including Arizona, Mississippi, California, Nevada, Tennessee, Rhode Island, Louisiana, Florida, and Washington. Georgia is the hardest hit at 94 percent, up from 74 percent the week before.

In an effort to curb the shortage, the FDA has been working to make it easier to import baby food produced abroad.

The administration of President Joe Biden announced Friday that it would bring in 1.3 million cans of Gerber formula from Mexico early next month.

Abbott Laboratories resumed infant formula production at its Sturgis, Michigan plant on Saturday after meeting FDA requirements agreed last month

Abbott announced on Saturday the reopening of its Sturgis plant, taking a step towards reducing the nationwide supply shortage that is expected to persist into the summer.

The February shutdown of the country’s largest formula factory sparked supply problems that have forced some parents to seek formulas from food banks, friends and doctors’ offices.

Abbott will initially prioritize the production of its special EleCare formulas for infants with severe food allergies and digestive problems who have few other nutritional options. The company said it will take about three weeks for the factory’s new formula to hit store shelves.

“We will ramp up production as soon as possible while meeting all requirements,” said a company statement.

“We understand the urgent need for formula and our top priority is to get high-quality, safe formula into the hands of families across America.”

Abbott added: “We are committed to safety and quality and will do everything we can to regain the trust that parents, carers and caregivers have placed in us for 130 years.”

According to data from Datasembly, the percentage of formulas sold out rose to 74 percent nationally for the week ending May 28 — that's 4 percent more than the week before.

According to data from Datasembly, the percentage of formulas sold out rose to 74 percent nationally for the week ending May 28 — that’s 4 percent more than the week before.

The news of Abbott’s reopening comes just one day after the Biden administration announced it would be bringing in baby food from Mexico as part of Operation Fly Formula.

Nestle will ship nearly 33 million full-size 8-ounce bottles of the Gerber Good Start Gentle general formula from its factory in Mexico starting July. The shipments would continue until October.

“The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services is evaluating options to get the products to the U.S. as soon as possible,” the agency said in a statement Friday.

The government invoked the Defense Production Act to speed up formula production and launched Operation Fly Formula in May to import formula from abroad.

As part of that operation, two shipments of formula have already arrived from Europe. The two flights yielded a total of 1.5 million 8-ounce bottles.

Third and fourth shipments were detailed this week as the administration tries to demonstrate that it has the situation under control.

The third shipment will bring Kendamil infant formula from the UK to the US. Shipments begin June 9 and will include 3.2 million 8-ounce bottle equivalents of Kendamil Classic Stage 1 and 540,000 8-ounce bottle equivalents of Kendamil Organic.

United Airlines has agreed to carry the Kendamil formula for free. The formula will hit Target’s shelves “within weeks” of arriving in the United States.

The administration also announced a fourth flight – this time with formula from Australia. Bubs Australia’s 380,000 pounds of infant formula, approximately 4.6 million 8-ounce bottles, will arrive in Pennsylvania and California on June 9 and 11, respectively.

Hundreds of boxes of infant formula arrived from Switzerland on May 22 as part of Biden's Operation Fly Formula, an operation to rapidly import infant formula to the US

Hundreds of boxes of infant formula arrived from Switzerland on May 22 as part of Biden’s Operation Fly Formula, an operation to rapidly import infant formula to the US

On May 31, a nearly empty bottle-feeding shelf is depicted in a New York City grocery store

On May 31, a nearly empty bottle-feeding shelf is depicted in a New York City grocery store

Meanwhile, the administration has been criticized for its handling of the formula shortage, with officials struggling to answer why Biden was only notified of the crisis two months after it began.

Abbott closed the Sturgis plant in February after the FDA began investigating four bacterial infections in infants who consumed formula milk from the plant. Two of the babies died.

The company continues to argue that its products have not been directly linked to the infections, which involved several strains of bacteria.

FDA inspectors eventually uncovered a host of violations at the plant, including bacterial contamination, a leaking roof and lax safety protocols.

The FDA has come under intense scrutiny as it took months to close the plant and then negotiate its reopening. Bureau executives recently told Congress they needed to sign a legally binding agreement with Abbott to ensure all issues were resolved.

Leave A Reply

Your email address will not be published.