Abbott plant halts formula production again due to flooding

Less than two weeks after Abbott resumed producing infant formula at its Michigan plant, it's down again. This time, the problem is severe storm-induced flooding in parts of the factory, according to a June 15 press release

The snag will deter production and rollout for "a few weeks," the press release said. "We have informed [the] FDA and will conduct comprehensive testing in conjunction with the independent third party to ensure the plant is safe to resume production."

The Sturgis plant closed for months earlier this year because of contamination, prompting the nationwide shortage that left shelves 74 percent empty nationwide, with 10 states down 90 percent at the end of May. Before Abbott reopened the factory June 4, the FDA predicted the shortage to last until the end of July. 

The company said it manufactured 8.7 million pounds of baby formula in June from plants other than the one in Sturgis, which amounts to enough supply for about 170 million 6-ounce bottles. 

As Abbott attempts to regain normal production of the infant formulas EleCare and Similac, the U.S. has imported formula from Switzerland, Germany, Australia, Singapore, London and other locations in the last few weeks. 

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