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Health & Science

Baby formula is hard to find at some Northeast Ohio stores

Giant Eagle in Louisville Ohio.jpg
Kelly Krabill
/
Ideastream Public Media
Shelves in the baby formula aisle are empty at a Giant Eagle in Louisville, Ohio.

Parents looking to buy baby formula are running into empty shelves at some Northeast Ohio stores. The shortage is due in part to a recall of Abbott Nutrition products, the maker of Similac, Alimentum, and EleCare.

A U.S. Food and Drug Administration investigation found the Abbott plant in Michigan didn't maintain clean surfaces used in producing and handling the baby formula. At least one infant has died as a result, and many more have gotten sick.

CVS stores are also limiting customers to three baby formula products per purchase to try to keep supplies on the shelves. In addition to product recalls, a spokesperson said the company can’t keep up with demand because of supply chain issues including slow transportation and shortages of ingredients needed to make baby formula.

A manager at Acme Fresh Market in Kent says he can’t get most of the brands of formula in stock. Other Northeast Ohio stores are also seeing empty shelves, like a Giant Eagle in Louisville in Stark County, according to an Ideastream Public Media investigation.

grocery store shelves partially empty of baby formula
Kelly Krabill
/
Ideastream Public Media
There is some baby formula available at this ACME Fresh Market store in Kent but the supply is low.

Fewer than half of all U-S babies are fed exclusively through breastfeeding from birth to 3 months, and only about a quarter of U.S. babies are fed exclusively through breastfeeding from birth to 6 months, according to data from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Kelly Krabill contributed to this report.