Several brands of baby formula have suffered recalls following health concerns about the products as baby formula is currently difficult to find in the United States.
Back in late February, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced a voluntary recall for some Similac, Alimentum and EleCare baby powdered formulas. According to the FDA, the brands are owned and manufactured by Abbott Nutrition.
The governmental agency said the move happened after complaints of “bacterial infections in four infants who consumed powdered infant formula produced in Abbott Nutrition’s facility in Sturgis, Michigan.” The FDA went on to state that the four infants did require hospitalization, while two of the four died.
The recall of the powdered baby formula comes as there is a baby formula shortage across the country. In April, approximately 40 percent of all baby formula was out of stock in the United States. This has worsened from March when there was a reported 29 percent out of stock.
The lack of baby formula has gotten so bad that some stores and other retailers have reportedly started limiting the amount some can purchase at a time.
In a statement posted to their website on Wednesday, Abbott said the voluntary recall, which was issued in February, involved “four complaints of Cronobacter sakazkii—a common environmental bacteria—in infants who consumed infant formulas produced” in their plant in Sturgis, Michigan.
Abbott, in their statement, also stated that “after a thorough review of all available data, there is no evidence to link our formulas to these infant illnesses.”
The company went on to list some of what was found during the investigation of the plant in Michigan, including that “in all four cases, the state, FDA and/or CDC tested samples of the Abbot formula that was used by the child” and “in all four cases, all unopened containers tested negative.”
Abbott also went on to mention that the supply of baby formula is low but they said, with FDA approval, could get their plant back up and running within two weeks.
However, they also indicated that whenever they do start back up that facility, “it will take six to eight weeks” before consumers will begin seeing those products available for purchase on shelves.
Also, announced this week, the FDA said Abbott can begin “immediately releasing product to individuals needing urgent, life-sustaining supplies of specialty and metabolic formulas” on a “case-by-case basis” from their plant, which was closed for inspection.
The government agency, in announcing their move, said not getting those formulas to those who really need and depend on those products could result in health problems.
Newsweek reached out to the FDA and to Abbott for comment.
The post Baby Formula Shortage: The Major Brands Suffering Recalls Amid Deficit appeared first on Newsweek.