Infant formula: Abbott has another recall, but says it affects a small portion of the total US supply



CNN

Abbott Labs said Friday it is recalling some 2 fluid ounce/59 milliliter bottles of ready-to-feed liquid formula for infants and toddlers.

If a child were to consume the spoiled formula, the company said, it could cause stomach problems, such as vomiting or diarrhea.

A spokesperson for the company told CNN that the recall involves “less than one day” of total infant formula used in the US and should not affect overall supply.

The formula was manufactured in Columbus, Ohio, not Abbott’s plant in Sturgis, Michigan, which was the focus of a major recall in February that exacerbated infant formula shortages and caused ongoing problems.

The recalled brands include Similac, Pro-Total Comfort, Similac 360 Total Care, Similac 360 Total Care Sensitive, Similac Special Care 24, Similac Stage 1, Similac NeoSure, Similac Water (sterilized) and Pedialyte Electrolyte Solution.

Most of these products are distributed primarily to hospitals and doctor’s offices.

The recall does not include any other liquid or powder brands or nutritional products produced at Abbott’s Ohio facility or other manufacturing facilities.

Affected lot numbers are listed at similarcrecall.com. If a consumer has a recalled product, they should not give it to their child, the company said.

“We take our responsibility to deliver high-quality products very seriously,” said Joe Manning, Abbott’s executive vice president of nutritional products, in a news release. “We’ve identified the problem internally, we’re working on a solution and we’ll work with our customers to minimize disruption and get them the products they need.”

Abbott’s Sturgis plant was shut down for months after an FDA inspection found Cronobacter sakazakii bacteria, which can be fatal to children, in several areas. Similac, Alimentum and EleCare powdered infant formula made at the plant were recalled, and the shutdown exacerbated shortages caused by supply chain disruptions. Families across the United States have spent months trying to find formula for babies and people with specific nutritional needs.

Production lasted less than two weeks before a storm and flooding in July prompted officials to shut the plant down again. It was restarted in August.

The Biden administration’s Operation Fly Formula effort has brought in millions of pounds of imported formula to help with the shortage.

Formula stock rates have improved a lot, but still haven’t returned to pre-shortage levels, according to market research firm IRI.