Orange county health officials provided an update regarding a national baby formula recall that has in turn yielded a supply shortage in recent months.
According to a press release from the Florida Department of Health in Orange County, when the initial recall was issued by Abbott Nutrition in February, health officials immediately reached out to retailers that accept women, infants, and children (WIC) benefits to recommend finding an alternative supply for formula.
For medically complex children that depend on medical specialty formula, health officials found alternative products to off-set the shortage.
Although health officials say the current recall does not affect Florida’s primary WIC milk-based formula, the shutdown of the Abbott plant in Sturgis, Michigan is causing strain on the entire formula market.
According to Abbott Nutrition, the company says it could restart its factory within two weeks and ship products to shelves six to eight weeks after that. The company continues to release certain metabolic formulas on an as-needed basis with a referral from a health care professional.
Health officials are encouraging impacted families to contact their health care provider or local WIC office to ensure they receive the necessary formula. Officials also advise against purchasing formula online that comes from outside of the United States, as well as choosing infant formula that is safe and properly cleaning, sanitizing, and storing infant feeding items.