Abbott Nutrition restarts production on infant formula amid nationwide shortage

Abbott Nutrition restarted production on infant formula at its Sturgis, Michigan, plant Saturday after meeting initial requirements set by the Food and Drug Administration.

The company started production of EleCare and other specialty and metabolic formulas. EleCare products are expected to be released around June 20.

“We’re also working hard to fulfill the steps necessary to restart production of Similac and other formulas and will do so as soon as we can,” an Abbott spokesperson said. “We understand the urgent need for formula, and our top priority is getting high-quality, safe formula into the hands of families across America.”

Abbott was allowed to resume production after agreeing to a consent decree with the FDA, stipulating that the Sturgis facility must retain an independent expert to review operations and ensure that the company is following the law.

The decree, which requires court approval, also includes measures for testing products and halting production in case of contamination.

“We will ramp production as quickly as we can while meeting all requirements,” the Abbott spokesperson said. “We’re committed to safety and quality and will do everything we can to re-earn the trust parents, caregivers and health care providers have placed in us for 130 years.”

Abbott closed its plant in February following FDA guidance after samples of the deadly cronobacter were detected “in medium and high care areas of powdered infant formula production,” causing a massive recall of its formula.

Rebecca Shabad and Zoë Richards contributed.

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