The Major Months-Long Shortage of This Is Getting Worse
It's been almost six months since a recall was issued after several infant illnesses and deathers were linked to Cronobacter bacteria in several popular baby formula varieties from Abbott Nutrition. The shut down of production at one of the company's facilities in Michigan, plus continued supply chain problems related to the pandemic, then led to shortages in grocery stores across the U.S., forcing parents and caretakers to scramble. New reports say despite some efforts the shortage is not getting better.
Once things started to worsen a few weeks after the recall, stores like Costco Walmart, Target, Kroger, and more put purchase limits on the limited supply that was in stock to prevent bulk buying. At this time about 30% of the stock was sold out, but it quickly jumped to 50%. The Wall Street Journal now says it's even worse.
A company leader at Piggly Wiggly told the newspaper that normally there are 30 baby formula products available to buy, but right now there are five. Other chains are also still struggling with only around 70% of stock, with an average of around 11 different products sold in stores, down from 24 in 2021. Additionally, Alaska, Utah, and Wyoming are facing worse shortages than other states, WSJ says.
The Michigan Abbott Nutrition facility opened back up in June but closed after a few weeks due to flooding. It once again opened on July 1 and will be able to ship some of the EleCare formula soon. The company has been importing supply from factories in Ireland and Spain as the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) continues to investigate and the U.S. government keeps up efforts to stock stores.