Infant Formula Shortage – Information & Resources
The nationwide shortage of infant formula is making it difficult for some Connecticut families to find available product. Stock has been limited due to ongoing supply chain issues and has been recently impacted by the February 2022 recall of certain baby powdered formula products manufactured by Abbott Nutrition. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is working with formula manufacturers to increase the availability of formula products in the coming weeks. Additionally, the Department of Defense (DOD) is procuring infant formula overseas that meets U.S. health and safety standards and President Biden is requiring that suppliers direct resources to infant formula manufacturers in order to increase production. In the meantime, below is information and resources for families with infants.
For families receiving WIC (the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children), the Connecticut Department of Public Health (CT DPH) has information about how to exchange recalled formula that has been purchased as well as how to obtain substitution formula at https://portal.ct.gov/DPH/WIC/WIC\\. WIC families are advised to:
- View the WIC-approved Temporary Formula Substitutions List. The temporary formula substitutions list provides substitutes that individuals may find available in stores. This list is updated regularly. WIC recipients can also download the WICShopper app to view approved formula substitutions.
- Contact a local WIC office for suggestions on where to find formula or help determining an approved substitution formula. WIC staff and WIC breastfeeding peer counselors can also help with breastfeeding, including increasing milk supply. WIC offices can be reached by phone or email – a list of all WIC offices and their contact information can be found here.
- Ask their WIC vendors when they typically receive new stock. During the formula shortage it may help to visit stores more frequently and buy formula as it becomes available.
CT DPH also recommends that all families who are having difficulty finding formula:
- Contact their pediatrician for suggestions
- Check smaller stores or pharmacies for availability, and ask them when they typically receive new inventory shipments
- Buy formula online, if possible, until store availability improves. Individuals should purchase from well-recognized distributors and pharmacies. Downloading the smart phone apps for well-known stores is a good way to check inventory at local stores. (Families should not buy formula from overseas as these formulas are not FDA (U.S. Food & Drug Administration) reviewed.)
Additional resources that may be helpful:
- Food Pantries: Local food pantries sometimes have supplies of infant formula; however, availability varies widely. A statewide list of food pantries can be found at 211ct.org here. Enter a city/town in the location box and click 🔎 to narrow the list by geographic location.
- Breastfeeding Supports: A statewide list of educational/support groups for breastfeeding parents and partners can be found at 211ct.org here. Enter a city/town in the location box and click 🔎 to narrow the list by geographic location.
- Tips from the American Academy of Pediatrics: Answers to FAQs by a pediatrician can be found here.
Additional information about the powdered formula recall is available from the FDA at https://www.fda.gov/food/outbreaks-foodborne-illness/fda-investigation-cronobacter-infections-powdered-infant-formula-february-2022.
Additional tips and guidance from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services can be found at https://www.hhs.gov/formula/index.html.
SOURCES: U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA); Connecticut Department of Public Health (CTDPH); American Academy of Pediatrics; U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
INTERNET PAGE PREPARED BY: 211/ak
CONTENT LAST REVIEWED: May2022