Baby formula shortage: Abbott resumes production at troubled Michigan plant

STURGIS, Mich. — Baby formula production has resumed at the Abbott Nutrition factory in Michigan after flooding damage and contamination concerns forced its closure twice since February, a company spokesperson confirmed Saturday.

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The plant previously restarted baby formula production on June 4, following a U.S. Food and Drug Administration investigation into the source of contamination that contributed to a national shortage.

The Sturgis facility’s reopening was short-lived, however, after severe storms in West Michigan flooded the plant, forcing a second closure on June 15. Specifically, the flooding halted production of the facility’s EleCare Specialty formula while the plant was re-sanitized and damage was assessed, MLive reported.

Abbott resumed production July 1 of the specialty formula, Abbott spokesman John Koval told The Associated Press.

According to Koval, the plant is working to restart Similac production as quickly as possible, MLive reported.

The news outlet previously reported that Michigan contracts with Abbott exclusively to “provide formula for families enrolled in the federally funded Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children, which aids more than 200,000 mothers, babies and children every month younger than 5.”

The FDA launched its investigation of the Abbott plant after two of four babies who contracted bacterial infections among infants who were fed powdered formula from the facility died, The Guardian reported.

According to the AP, Abbott has maintained that its products have not been directly linked to the infections, which involved different bacterial strains.

-- The Associated Press contributed to this report.