May 25, 2022

Resources for Families Amid Infant Formula Shortage

The Allegheny County Health Department (ACHD) and UPMC Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh have provided information regarding the baby formula shortage and guidelines for families who need to find alternatives.


Supply chain disruptions and a major recall of Similac, Alimentum, and EleCare powdered infant formula due to Cronobacter and Salmonella bacteria have resulted in the shortage of formula for families who need it to feed their infants.

Appropriate nutrition is important for babies younger than age one, as they need the correct balance of nutrients to maintain their rapid growth and development. Breast milk contains these; formulas are specially designed to best mimic this and meet the needs.

Families can review the following to become more informed about this shortage:


February 23, 2022

Recall: Powdered Infant Formula

Three brands of powdered infant formula were recalled on February 17, 2022, for possible Cronobacter contamination.

(UPDATE: Abbott Nutrition’s baby formula recall has been expanded to include one lot of Similac PM 60/40 on February 28, 2022.)

Recall Information

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is investigating several consumer complaints about sick infants who were fed powdered formula. Recalled powdered infant formulas are Similac, Alimentum, and EleCare. Do not use these brands if they meet all three of these conditions:

  • First two digits are 22 through 37

  • Code on the container contains “K8,” “SH,” or “Z2”

  • Use-by date is 4-1-2022 (APR 2022) or later

Abbott said in an update on February 28, 2022 that in addition to the other formula recalled it was recalling Lot # 27032K80 (can) / Lot # 27032K800 (case) of Similac PM 60/40.

Do not feed infants recalled powdered formula. Throw it away or return it for a refund. Visit FDA’s website for more information.

What is Cronobacter?

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Cronobacter is a germ found naturally in the environment. The germs can live in dry foods, such as powdered infant formula, powdered milk, herbal teas, and starches. Cronobacter can cause diarrhea and urinary tract infections in people of all ages, but infection can be very serious in infants.

For more information about Cronobacter, its effects on infants, and guidelines to protect them, visit the CDC website.