What Parents Want to Know

Read our answers to some of the most common questions we hear from parents and caregivers.

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Frequently Asked Questions About Imported Formula

FAQs: Formula Availability, Storage & Quality | Similac®

Abbott is bringing infant formula into the US from our FDA-registered manufacturing sites outside of the US, including shipments by air.

The US FDA is temporarily allowing, on a case-by-case basis, the importation of infant formulas manufactured outside the US provided they meet specific requirements established by FDA. For more information and a list of the allowed formulas, you can visit A key FDA requirement is the manufacturer must prove they have established current good manufacturing practices by providing their FDA Food Facility Registration number, details and records about their quality control procedures, testing, manufacturing process, and inspections. FDA will not allow formulas into the US that do not meet their requirements.

For more information, contact our Similac Feeding Expert team at 800-986-8800, Monday through Friday 8:30 AM to 7 PM ET.

Abbott formulas imported to the US have the same or similar ingredients as those sold in the US, and all formulas imported to the US under this program must meet the FDA requirements as described above. While it is difficult to predict how each baby will react, some babies adjust to a new formula right away, and others take a little longer. We encourage families to consult with their healthcare professional or doctor in all feeding decisions.

It is always best to prepare according to label instructions. Some countries’ recommendations include boiling water for 2 or 5 minutes. Ask your healthcare professional if you need to use cooled, boiled water for mixing and if you need to boil (sterilize) bottles, nipples, and rings before use.

The scoop in imported Similac® Total Comfort (silver label) that has been imported from another country is smaller than the scoop found in US Similac® Total Comfort. Scoops provided—whether from the US or imported from another country—should not be used interchangeably, even if it is the same brand.

Follow the instructions on the imported formula container for the maximum time allowed to store an open container.

Frequently Asked Questions About Our Commitment to Quality

FAQs: Formula Availability, Storage & Quality | Similac®

Yes, you can rely on the quality of Similac formulas. We conduct extensive quality checks on each batch of formula, including microbiological analysis, prior to release.

Abbott is committed to the highest standards for manufacturing of all its nutrition products. After our voluntary recall of products manufactured at the Sturgis, MI facility, we are taking corrective actions at that facility using new technology and improved processes to renew your confidence in our products.

Similac products give babies a strong start with important baby formula ingredients. Supporting your baby’s growth and development means providing them with the right nutrition. That’s why Similac formulas have important vitamins, minerals, and nutrients to help give your little one a strong start.

After a thorough investigation by the FDA, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and Abbott, and review of all available data, there is no conclusive evidence to link Abbott's formulas to these infant illnesses. Specifically:

  • CDC concluded its investigation with no findings of a link between Abbott formulas and infant illnesses.
  • Abbott conducts microbiological testing on products prior to distribution, and no Abbott formula distributed to consumers tested positive for Cronobacter sakazakii or Salmonella.
  • All retained product tested by Abbott and the FDA during the inspection of the facility came back negative for Cronobacter sakazakii and/or Salmonella. No Salmonella was found at the Sturgis facility.
  • The Cronobacter sakazakii that was found in environmental testing during the investigation was in non-product contact areas of the facility and has not been linked to any known infant illness.
  • Genetic sequencing on the 2 available samples from ill infants did not match the strains of Cronobacter sakazakii found in our plant. Samples from ill infants did not match each other, which means there was no connection between the 2 cases.
  • In all 4 cases, the state, FDA and/or CDC tested samples of the Abbott formula that was used by the child. In all 4 cases, all unopened containers tested negative.
  • Open containers from the homes of the infants were also tested in 3 of the 4 cases; 2 of the 3 tested negative. The 1 positive was from an open container from the home of the infant, and it tested positive for 2 different strains of Cronobacter sakazakii, 1 of which matched the strain that caused the infant's infection, and the other matched a strain found on a bottle of distilled water in the home used to mix the formula. Again, neither strain matched strains found in our plant.
  • The infants consumed 4 different types of our formula made over the course of nearly a year, and the illnesses took place over several months in 3 different states.

Cronobacter sakazakii is naturally occurring and found nearly everywhere in the environment. Powdered infant formula manufacturers periodically detect it in their plants, and the FDA, in issuing its infant formula Current Good Manufacturing Practices (cGMP) regulations, stated that, based on current technologies, it is not possible to produce a sterile powdered infant formula (79 Fed. Reg. 7987). However, Abbott has no tolerance for Cronobacter sakazakii in its production environment, and no Abbott product was distributed with Cronobacter sakazakii contamination. The company is further strengthening its processes and using advanced technologies to enhance sanitization procedures, product tracking and monitoring as well as training protocols for employees and visitors.

Our actions include:

  • Increasing our finished product testing, which already meets or exceeds regulatory requirements
  • Enhancing the environmental monitoring program by increasing the sampling of non-product contact areas by 2 to 3 times

Frequently Asked Questions About Finding Formula

FAQs: Formula Availability, Storage & Quality | Similac®

We know the industry-wide baby formula shortage in the US has worsened since our voluntary recall. We see and hear the stress and despair of parents who are facing empty shelves, and we are doing whatever it takes to get high-quality formula to families in need.

Getting our Sturgis, MI plant up and running will help alleviate this shortage. Abbott has restarted production at Sturgis in the first week of June. We will prioritize production of EleCare®, Alimentum®, and metabolic formulas first and then begin production of Similac® and other formulas. From the time production restarts at the plant, it will take 6 to 8 weeks for product to be available on shelves. 

If you can’t find the formula you need, please talk to your child’s pediatrician for information on a suitable alternative. As soon as we have more information, we will provide an update here.

Use our Find a Retailer tool to find major retailers online and near you that stock Similac products. Due to rapid inventory changes, we advise you to also call ahead to verify availability.

We understand how difficult it is to find infant formula in stock right now, in stores and online. 

We know parents and caregivers around the world count on our formulas to feed their babies and children, and we are doing everything possible to manufacture and ship product as soon as we can. This includes:

  • Bringing Similac® Advance® into the US from our FDA-registered manufacturing site in Europe, including daily air shipments of our powder product.

  • Prioritizing production of Similac® and Alimentum® over other Abbott liquid products to make more ready-to-feed liquid formula available.

  • Working with USDA and state agencies to provide authorization for parents who get formula from the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program (SNAP) or Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) for other Similac products (and other formula brands) at no cost. 

  • Engaging with healthcare providers to identify potential alternative formulas whenever we can.

  • Increasing production of Similac formulas at our US FDA-registered facilities.

Here are some ideas for finding formula:

  • Check smaller stores and drug stores, which may not be out of supply when the bigger stores are.
  • Try buying formula online until store shortages ease. Purchase from well-recognized distributors, grocers, and pharmacies.
  • Check social media groups that are dedicated to infant feeding and formula. Make sure to check any advice with your pediatrician.
  • Call your pediatrician if you cannot find formula. They may have samples in stock or know of other sources to try, such as your local WIC clinic.

Frequently Asked Questions About Support for Parents and Caregivers

FAQs: Formula Availability, Storage & Quality | Similac®

Store at room temperature and do not open until you’re ready to use.

Once Opened

Refrigerate 32-fl-oz bottles immediately and store for up to 3 days (72 hours). For Similac Alimentum, store immediately in the refrigerator up to 2 days (48 hours).

Refrigerate 2-fl-oz and 8-fl-oz nipple-ready bottles immediately and feed within 48 hours. Once feeding begins, use or discard within 1 hour. 

If poured into individual baby bottles, store immediately in the refrigerator and feed within 48 hours. For more information, see the product labels.

You don’t need to mix or measure anything. Shake the bottle well before opening.

For 32-fl-oz bottles, twist off the cap and pour into a baby bottle.

For 8-fl-oz bottles, twist off the cap and pour into a baby bottle or add a nipple directly on to the bottle.

For 2-fl-oz bottles, use clean hands to attach any clean standard nipple and ring. Ask your baby's doctor if you need to boil (sterilize) nipples and rings before use.

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