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Monday, June 27, 2022

Florida Department of Health in Marion County provides update on infant formula shortage

The Florida Department of Health in Marion County (FDOH-Marion) wants local residents to know that the department is closely monitoring the current infant formula shortage and is taking the issue very seriously.

On May 12, 2022, State Surgeon General Joseph Ladapo sent a letter to U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Commissioner Robert Califf regarding the formula shortages that are affecting some of Florida’s most vulnerable populations.

FDOH-Marion wants to ensure that the community is kept up to date on this issue and has the correct information on how to protect their families.

When the initial recall was issued by Abbott Nutrition in February, the department immediately reached out to retailers that accept the Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) benefits to recommend ordering an alternative supply of formula. For the county’s medically complex children who depend on medical specialty formula, the department found alternative products to offset the shortage.

The current recall does not affect Florida’s primary WIC milk-based formula, but the shutdown of the Abbott plant in Sturgis, Michigan is causing strain on the entire formula market. In a recent press release from Abbott, the company stated that its factory could be restarted within two weeks, and products could return to store shelves within six to eight weeks after the restart.

For Florida families in need of certain metabolic formulas, Abbott continues to release these products on an as-needed basis with a referral from a health care professional. These products were not included in the recall, and they have been tested and comply with all product release requirements before distribution.

Impacted families should contact their health care provider or local WIC office to ensure that they are getting the necessary formula.

FDOH-Marion recommends that families take the following steps:

  • Choose an infant formula that is safe. For more information on choosing a safe infant formula, visit the CDC and FDA webpages on the topic.
  • Do not make homemade infant formula. Click here for more information.
  • Do not buy formula online that comes from outside the United States. This formula could be counterfeit, including fake labels with a wrong ‘use by’ date.
  • Properly prepare and store infant formula. Click here for more information on proper preparation and storage.
  • Properly clean, sanitize, and store infant feeding items. Click here for more information.
  • Always wash your hands. Click here for more information.

On February 17, 2022, Abbott Nutrition initiated a voluntary recall of certain powdered infant formulas produced in their Sturgis facility. The FDA issued a public health advisory to alert consumers to avoid purchasing or using recalled formulas.

Impacted products within the recalled lot may include:

  • Similac PM 60/40.
  • Similac.
  • Alimentum.
  • EleCare.

Impacted lots will start with a 22 through 37, not including the letter at the beginning. Example: L31465SH00.

Check to see if you have recalled formula by:

  • Reviewing the lot number on the bottom of your package.
  • Checking the lot number on the Abbott website.
  • Visiting Abbott’s website.
  • Calling the company at 1-800-986-8540.

Do not feed your baby recalled formula. If the lot number on your formula does not start with a 22 through 37, your formula is not affected.

If you have formula that has been recalled, do not throw it away. Return it to the store for a refund or exchange, or call 1-800-986-8540.