Baby Formula

A SHELF SITS EMPTY where baby formula is supposed to be stocked in Madison's Lewis Drug last week. 

The baby formula shortage may be a national topic right now, but it is also a local issue. Madison’s stores are feeling the weight of the shortage.

The South Dakota Department of Health says the shortage is statewide as well as nationwide.

“A national report showed that states in the Mt. Plains region, including South Dakota, are experiencing more significant shortages,” the DOH communications team said in an email.

All baby formulas are becoming difficult to find, but it is specialty formulas that are the hardest to obtain.

“On February 17, 2022, Abbott voluntarily issued a recall of powdered formulas, including Similac Advance®, Similac Total Comfort®, Similac for Spit-Up®, Similac Sensitive®, Similac Alimentum®, Similac EleCare®, and Similac PM 60/40® that were manufactured in Sturgis, Michigan,” the DOH said.

The shortage originally started during the COVID-19 pandemic. However, when the Abbott Nutrition facility in Sturgis, Mich., shut down in February, the issue was exacerbated.

According to the Sturgis Journal, the plant, which is the largest U.S. formula manufacturing factory, was shut down due to complaints of Cronobacter sakazakii, or salmonella.

Since the recall was announced, the DOH has been working to secure access to baby formula for WIC program participants. They have also been providing some formula obtained at the state level to clients.

The DOH encourages those who are struggling in finding their normal formula to talk with their medical provider about changing their formula. They also encourage people to call 211 for immediate assistance.