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Abbott to Restart Troubled Baby Formula Plant

It will still take some time before stores start restocking shelves.

Abbott Laboratories on Wednesday said that production at a troubled infant formula plant in Michigan could restart within two weeks.

In February, Abbott recalled baby formulas made at its plant in Sturgis after complaints of bacterial infections in infants who drank specific Similac products. Two infants died, and several babies were hospitalized. 

Once the company gets the go-ahead, it will restart EleCare, Alimentum and metabolic formulas first, with Similac and others to follow. 

Unfortunately, it could be six to eight weeks before stores start restocking shelves, which won't help a supply chain already failing in many areas of the country.

On April 20, when the company had to slash its sales forecast for its nutrition division, Abbott called the recall a "short-term hindrance" and noted that it was working with the FDA on corrective actions.

According to the FDA, the Sturgis facility failed to maintain sanitary conditions and procedures at the plant. Abbott didn't keep surfaces clean and had a history of bacteria contamination.

Overall, the company will be fine after reporting $3.3 billion in COVID-19 test sales last quarter. And while the FDA is trying to work with manufacturers to ease supply chain issues, many are already at or exceeding capacity.

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