Formula recall leads to shortages on store shelves

NOW: Formula recall leads to shortages on store shelves

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Earlier this year, Abbot Laboratories issued a voluntary recall of its Similac formula after learning of the death of an infant who developed an infection from its product. The recall is causing a shortage of formula in stores and pharmacies across the country. The formula shortage is making meal time a nightmare for babies and some of our most vulnerable who use these products several times every single day.

So, what do you need to know if your family or caregiver uses Abbot’s Similac, Alimentum or Elecare products?

What infections were reported and what are the warning signs?

Infants were reported to have Cronobacter which can cause severe, life-threatening infections or Meningitis.

According to the Food and Drug Administration, signs of infection include poor feeding, irritability, temperature changes, jaundice, grunting breaths or abnormal body movements. If your child experiences any of these symptoms, contact your healthcare provider for immediate care.

Where were infections reported?

It was reported by consumers in three different states from September 2021 to January 2022.

Are there any good homemade substitutes to make in a pinch?

The FDA also warns parents not to replace infant formula with homemade substitutes and to never dilute the product as both methods may lack nutrients vital to an infant’s growth.

Another concern for parents are those needing hypoallergenic formulas.

Allergies can be problematic when it comes to feeding babies and that can require special formula.

A Michiana mother of two, Kayzie Weedman has a 5-month-old who suffers from gluten, soy and dairy allergies and needs a specific, prescription formula that was backordered and could not swap out with a different brand because of her child’s condition.

“When she has those different formulas with milk proteins in them, she breaks out, cries, screams. She’s just a really sad baby because it hurts her a lot,” said Weedman.

Kayzie Weedman's five-month-old girl breaks out in hives and a rash which turns into boils and scabs. Since the recall, many parents have resorted to panic-buying or buying formula in bulk in fears of running out amidst a shortage which left Weedman unable to find hypoallergenic formula in the area once the prescription formula was backordered.

She turned to Facebook and asked friends and family to check their local stores for the specific formula for her child.

Weedman said she was grateful for the support she received but stopped once she was given 14 cans and urged parents not to buy in bulk even in this time of need.

“It was a really cool thing because I had people all over the country trying to help my daughter get the formula that she needed,” said Weedman.

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