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Formula Recall & Shortage
For WIC families with an infant requiring a special prescription formula: if you are unable to find the prescribed formula, please contact your pediatrician about finding a suitable alternative. A new WIC-27 form must be submitted before we can issue the new formula
Shortage of Infant Formula
Fact Sheet from the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services: Helping Families Find Formula During the Infant Formula Shortage
Message from the Missouri Department of Health & Human Services | May 10, 2022
As the nationwide infant formula shortage continues to affect parents and caregivers, state health officials and pediatricians urge Missourians to know the dos and don’ts of infant formula use and refrain from hoarding supply. The formula shortage, which began as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic supply chain challenges, continues today and is exacerbated by the recalls that occurred in February 2022.
Missouri WIC offers the following list of do’s and don’ts for all parents and caregivers.
- Do feed your baby over 6 months old more baby food and less formula. A great resource, Food to Grow On: Birth to 12 months, provides a guide to the nutritional intake needed by babies during their first year of life.
- Do wean your babies over 12 months old off formula. After their first birthday, babies no longer need formula to meet their nutritional needs. Caregivers can wean the baby using water, milk and food.
- Do consider relactation. It is possible, with some effort, for women to relactate even if they did not breastfeed when their baby was born or were not able to for long. Contact a local IBCLC to help if you want to try to relactate.
- Do search for formula at multiple stores in your area. Check the customer service desk at the store to see if they are keeping any there. Call a store before making the trip to check their supply or ask when the next supply truck arrives.
- Do tell friends and family the brand and type of formula you use and ask them to pick it up for you if they see it in a store while shopping.
- Do call your pediatrician if you run low and ask for guidance. They will be able to give you guidance on a safe formula switch or may even have samples to help you for a few days.
- Don’t hoard formula. Only keep a monthly supply, at the most, to give other caregivers the opportunity to find formula. Hoarding is making the shortage worse!
- Don’t make homemade formula. Without proper regulation, homemade infant formula may lack proper ingredients that are vital to infant growth and can cause life-threatening foodborne illnesses when consumed. There are many social media conversations about how homemade formula was used a long time ago and babies were just fine. They weren’t just fine. Babies died before commercial formula was widely available. The infant mortality rates were higher and babies were malnourished. Don’t make homemade formula.
- Don’t dilute (water down) your baby’s formula to make it last longer. Your baby needs the full formula for proper nutrition and growth.
- Don’t follow online advice except from trusted, expert sources. Your baby’s health and nutrition is too important to risk!
- Don’t give cow’s milk or other milk substitutes to a baby under 1 year of age. Before your child is 12 months old, cow’s or goat’s milk may put him or her at risk for intestinal bleeding. It also has too many proteins and minerals for your baby’s kidneys to handle and does not have the right amount of nutrients for your baby.
The FDA shares additional infant formula safety tips here.
Recall of Infant Formula
On February 18, 2022, a recall of some powdered Similac, Alimentum, or EleCare formulas was announced. The powdered formula products INCLUDED in this recall have the expiration date of 4-1-2022 (APR 2022) or later and are:
• 12.6 oz Similac Total Comfort
• 12.5 oz Similac for Spit Up
• All EleCare Infant and Junior
• All Similac Alimentum
The powdered formula products that MIGHT be included in this recall are:
• 12.5 oz Similac Sensitive
• 12.4 oz Similac Advance.
To know if your 12.5 oz Similac Sensitive or 12.4 oz Similac Advance cans are included in this recall, look at the bottom of the can. Formulas included in this recall will have the following:
• The first two digits of the lot number are 22 through 37, and
• The lot number on the container contains K8, SH, or Z2, and
• The expiration date is 4-1-2022 (APR 2022) or later.
To check if your lot number is included in the recall, go to https://www.similacrecall.com/us/en/product-lookup.html.
As of April 15, 2022
Participants now have 20 more formula alternative options to purchase with WIC benefits. The new alternatives are in medium and large containers. The medium containers will remove 1.5 containers from your benefits. In addition, the alternative formula options will be available until at least May 31, 2022.
Similac Sensitive, Similac Total Comfort, and Similac for Spit Up now have additional options.
- Temporary Formula Alternatives (total comfort, advance, soy isomil, concentrate, ready to feed)
- Temporary Formula Alternatives (sensitive, for spit up)
For more information regarding the formula recall, visit the Missouri Dept. of Health website or talk to your WIC provider.