Abbott Baby Formula Plant Forced to Shut Down Once Again
Less than two weeks after resuming operation at its Sturgis plant, Abbott Laboratories has once again been forced to temporarily cease baby formula production due to severe weather, flooding, and power outages.
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A Perfect Storm Shuts Down Production
An Abbott spokesperson says heavy rain in the city of Sturgis overwhelmed storm drains, resulting in the need to clean and resanitize Abbott's production facility.
"These torrential storms produced significant rainfall in a short period of time - overwhelming the city's stormwater system in Sturgis, Michigan, and resulting in flooding in parts of the city, including areas of our plant, the spokesperson tells ABC News. "As a result, Abbott has stopped production of its EleCare specialty formula that was underway to assess damage caused by the storm and clean and re-sanitize the plant. We have informed FDA and will conduct comprehensive testing in conjunction with the independent third party to ensure the plant is safe to resume production."
Weeks-Long Shutdown Expected
After Abbott's Sturgis plant was shuttered for months, causing a nationwide shortage of baby formula, this new shutdown is expected to put baby formula production on hold for 'a few weeks' according to the Abbott spokesperson.
According to Chicago's ABC-7, Abbott had previously planned to resume producing the hypoallergenic formula EleCare on June 20. This setback is very likely to push that date back.
Abbott Prioritizes Brands
The spokesperson says that once the plant is able to resume production, priority will be placed on manufacturing the EleCare product, followed by specialty and metabolic formulas which are in high demand for medically-vulnerable babies who can't easily switch between different brands of formulas.