The nation’s top infant formula manufacturer was forced to shut down its Michigan factory late Wednesday, just days after reopening after a forced months-long shutdown.
Abbott Laboratories stated its factory, which had barely reopened on June 4, was overrun by severe thunderstorms and heavy rains that caused power outages and water damage across Sturgis, resulting in extensive flooding.
“As a result, Abbott has halted production of its EleCare specialty formula, which had been in progress, in order to assess storm damage and clean and sanitize the plant.” According to the firm, which is the largest US provider of powdered infant formula, “this will likely delay production and distribution of new products for a few weeks.”
Even with past demand, the firm claimed it has enough EleCare and most of its speciality and metabolic formulae on hand to accommodate demand until the new product was released.
The plant’s shutdown on Wednesday was the latest setback for the facility, which was shut down by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in February after two children died from infections that may have come from the facility.
Dr. Robert Califf, FDA Commissioner, said the federal government was informed of the latest shutdown.
Califf described the delay as a sad setback, but emphasized that there was still enough supply to satisfy current demand.
The FDA’s first goal is to ensure that parents and caregivers have access to both safe and readily available baby formula, and our staff are working around the clock to make that happen.