Abbott Nutrition, the country’s largest producer of baby formula, has been cleared to resume production at its Michigan plant.
The company announced the news in a statement Saturday, nearly three months after it was forced to shutter the factory due to contamination concerns. Around that time, Abbott issued a product recall of its Similac, Alimentum and EleCare powdered infant formulas, all of which were produced at the Michigan plant and consumed by babies were contracted bacterial infections. Two of those babies died from the illness.
“Abbott is restarting infant formula production at its Sturgis, Michigan, facility today after meeting initial requirements agreed to with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) as part of the consent decree entered into on May 16,” the company wrote.
The recall and factory closure—couple with global supply-chain issues—contributed to the nationwide shortage of baby formula, leaving many U.S. parents scrambling to find food for their children. The crisis became so severe that President Joe Biden authorized flights to import formula supply from overseas, and invoked the Defense Production Act to boost formula production.
Abbott said it will restart production of ElecCare and other specialty and metabolic formulas this week. Those products are expected to be released around June 20. The company is now working to meet guidelines to resume production of other products, including Similac.
“We will ramp production as quickly as we can while meeting all requirements,” an Abbott spokesperson told NBC News. “We’re committed to safety and quality and will do everything we can to re-earn the trust parents, caregivers and health care providers have placed in us for 130 years.”