Baby Formula

Abbott Laboratories Michigan Plant Being Investigated by Department of Justice

Jan. 23, 2023
The Justice Department is looking into conduct at the Sturgis, Mich. plant that stood at the epicenter of the baby formula shortage in 2022.

The Abbott Laboratories baby formula plant at the center of several infant illnesses last year is being formally investigated by the Department of Justice. 

According to a report in the Wall Street Journal, the Justice Department is investigating the plant in Sturgis, Mich., with attorneys for the Justice Department's consumer-protection branch conducting the investigation. 

“The DOJ has informed us of its investigation, and we’re cooperating fully,” an Abbott spokesman said.

Nearly a year ago, Abbott voluntarily recalled its Similac, Alimentum and EleCare powdered infant formulas produced in the Michigan plant. The recall, and a subsequent FDA investigation, followed cronobacter bacteria samples being found at the Sturgis facility, which ultimately led to the plant being shut down for several months. 

According to a Reuters report, the FDA "found 'shocking' results during an inspection such as cracks in vital equipment, a lack of adequate hand-washing and evidence of previous bacterial contamination.'

The closing of the facility contributed to a nationwide shortage of infant formula, which reached crisis proportions last year. Following the shutdown, the troubled baby-formula plant went back online in June, only to be shut down a week later following flooding that forced the plant to shut down again. The plant re-opened again in July.   

About the Author

Erin A. Hallstrom

Erin Hallstrom oversaw our digital content strategy for the Food Processing brand from 2008-2023. She is now the Associate Director of SEO Strategy for Endeavor Business Media, where she holds technical certifications in both website analytics and search engine optimization. Most recently, she was named the 2022 Marianne Dekker Mattera Award Winner

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