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Tainted Baby-Formula Risk Was Seen Months Before Abbott’s Recall

  • Detailed plant inspection report shows FDA staff’s concerns
  • Formula shortages explode, parents worry amid product recalls
A nearly empty baby-formula shelf at a Target store in Orlando, Florida, on May 8.
A nearly empty baby-formula shelf at a Target store in Orlando, Florida, on May 8.Source: LightRocket
Updated on

Federal inspectors spotted the potential for baby formula made at an Abbott Laboratories plant to become contaminated months before a recall that exacerbated a nationwide shortage, a government document shows.

The Food and Drug Administration report adds a new twist to the widening gap between supply and demand for formula since Abbott recalled Similac and other top-selling brands in February, alarming parents and stoking lawmakers’ concerns. Federal officials have investigated the cases of four babies who fell ill -- including two who died -- from cronobacter after ingesting formula made at Abbott’s Sturgis plant.