Four Seasons Pediatrics

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Formula Shortage

For those of you affected by the National Formula Shortage, we would like to give you an update and tips to get through the next few months. 

BackgroundThe Abbott facility in Sturgis, MI produces about 40% of US formula including those branded under Similac and other special formulas.  Four infants became ill with a bacteria known as  Cronobacter sakazakii, 2 of which died.  This bacteria has been associated with contamination in the past.  As a result, the plant was shut down while investigations occurred.   Investigations showed the following:- No lot numbers of formula tested positive for the strain the infants had- Cronobacter was found in environmental areas without contact to Abbott products- Genetic sequencing on bacteria that was found in the plant, did not match the ill infants nor did the strains in the infants match each other- Unopened formula testing on cans in the infants home tested negative- Opened formula testing on the cans in the sick infants homes – showed two strains of Cronobacter.  One strain matched a strain in the distilled water used to mix the formula.  Theother strain did not match the plant bacteria. In the meantime:- The FDA has given the ok to release specialty formulas made at the plant.  If you need one, you can call 800-881-0876.  If you are unable to get one of the specialty formulas, please contact us- The FDA is expected to endorse restarting the plant within the next week- It will be 6-8 weeks before formula made is on the shelf- You can use other brands of equivalent formula that you can find (including store brand formulas).  See this link for a chart on equivalent formulas: Equivalent formula– Please call us if you are unable to find any equivalent formula, we will help if we possibly can- For other questions about recommended alternatives, see this link: AAP Formula Questions– If anyone needs a lactation consult or is interested in re-lactation, please call the office Formula Preparation:-  The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends boiling water for 1 minute and cooling to room temperature for no more than 30” before mixing powder in. 

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