Formula Shortage and Dangers of Diluting and Making Your Own

Clay Center, KS- Those that feed their infant formula know the struggle that’s going on in finding the formula they need to feed their child.
In February baby formula maker Abbott issued a recall for complaints of a common environmental bacteria where two infants became sick and two tragically passed away.
Many people have gone to the extent of diluting the formula to make it last longer. Kaylyn Speth, Riley County WIC Supervisor, says that by diluting the formula, the infant will not receive the necessary calories or essential nutrients to thrive.

Other people have even resorted to attempting to make their own formula thanks to a post that they have seen circulating online, and according to Speth, that brings on a whole other set of dangers.

Speth says that too much salt or protein can cause significant strain on the infant’s kidneys and low calcium which can cause seizures and can put a baby in the hospital.

Another risk in creating your own formula is the risk of contamination or infection due to bacteria that is in the home.
Speth says that there are other options available instead of making a formula that could be extremely dangerous.  Some of those other options include possibly using another form of formula and that there might be concentrate or ready to feed options available, talking to their physician about other options available, switching to a different brand, having friends and family keep an eye out, and contacting local food pantries.
Another option she mentioned was signing up for WIC, cash assistance, and the SNAP program.
In a release from Abbott, they stated, “We know the recall has worsened an already existing industry-wide infant formula shortage in the U.S. and we’ve been seeing and hearing the stress and despair of parents who are facing empty shelves. We deeply regret the situation and since the recall, we’ve been working to increase supply at our other FDA-registered facilities, including bringing in Similac from our site in Cootehill, Ireland, by air and producing more liquid Similac and Alimentum. We also began releasing metabolic formulas that were on hold earlier this month at FDA’s request to those who need these unique formulas.”
Many stores in the KCLY listening area have been attempting to get formula in and are always ordering it.  Many stores stated that they are limiting the amount of formula that people can buy at a time to one or two cans.
Abbott states they could resume infant formula production within the next two weeks at their Michigan manufacturing plant once they get the FDA approval.  The Illinois based company says they started their reproduction efforts on Wednesday, and from the start of production, it could take anywhere from six to eight weeks to fully be available on the shelves of the grocery stores.
Janet Schnell covers state and local news for KFRM and KCLY. You can follow the KCLY or KFRM Facebook page for more stories.
KFRM covers news from across the state of Kansas, the Northern part of Oklahoma, and Southern part of Nebraska.
KCLY coverage area includes the nine counties of Clay, Cloud, Dickinson, Geary, Marshall, Ottawa, Riley, Republic, and Washington.
KCLY or KFRM stories and photos may be republished by news media at no cost with proper attribution and a link to or

Sign up for the KCLY Digital Newspaper, The Regional