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National Infant Formula Shortage

In addition to an ongoing national baby formula shortage, on February 17, 2022, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recalled Similac (including Similac Advance, Similac Sensitive, Similac Total Comfort, and Similac for Spit Up), Similac Alimentum, and Similac EleCare powdered infant formulas. Recalled Similac products were removed from stores. Similac products that are not included in the recall are safe and you can keep buying them.

Formula manufacturers and the federal government are working to increase the formula supply nationwide.

June 7, 2022
RIDOH was notified by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) that the baby formula from the United Kingdom and Australia is approved and determined to be a healthy alternate formula for use in the United States. The first batch of formula includes Kendamil Classic, Kendamil organic formula, and seven types of Bubs brand formula, and is expected to be in Target stores in Rhode Island the week of June 6.

The labels of these products look different, but they have been approved by the federal government and they are safe to use. (To see labels of all products, visit the FDA’s website.) This is just the first batch of formula that will be available soon in retail stores. More is coming. Please buy just what you need, as we want to assure that everyone has the chance to buy some.

Just like formula that is made in the US, parents should follow the manufacturer’s directions on how to prepare it. Directions on these cans of formula use metric measurements. The conversion from milliliters (mL) to fluid ounces is:

1 fluid ounce = 30 mL
2 fluid ounces = 60 mL
3 fluid ounces = 90 mL
4 fluid ounces = 120 mL
5 fluid ounces = 150 mL
6 fluid ounces = 180 mL
7 fluid ounces = 210 mL
8 fluid ounces = 240 mL

Details on products

Product name

Container size

US Equivalent products

Kendamil EU Classic First Infant Milk Stage 1

900 g/31.75 oz.

Similar to US standard infant formulas like Similac Advance or Enfamil Neuro PRO;
Kendamil Stage 1 is only for infants up to six months

Kendamil EU Organic First Milk Infant Milk Stage 1

800 g/28.22 oz.

Similar to US standard infant organic formulas like Similac Organic;
Kendamil Stage 1 is only used for infants up to six months

Kendamil EU Goat First Milk Infant Milk Stage 1

800 g/28.22 oz.

No US equivalent

Bubs Organic Grass Fed Infant Formula Stage 1

800 g/28.19 oz.

Similar to US standard infant organic formulas like Similac Organic;
Bubs Stage 1 is only used for infants up to six months

Bubs Organic Grass Fed Follow-On Formula Stage 2

800 g/28.19 oz.

Similar to US standard infant organic formulas like Similac Organic;
Bubs Stage 2 is only used for infants age six to 12 months

Bubs Supreme A2 Beta-Casein Protein Infant Formula Stage 1

800 g/28.19 oz.

Similar to US Similac Organic because both Bubs and Similac contain A2 beta casein milk protein. Stage 1 formula is only used for infants up to six months

Bubs Supreme A2 Beta-Casein Protein Follow-On Formula Stage 2

800 g/28.19 oz

Similar to US Similac Organic because both Bubs and Similac contain A2 beta casein milk protein. Stage 2 formula is only used for infants age six to 12 months.

Bubs Easy-digest Goat Milk Infant Formula Stage 1

800 g/28.19 oz.

No US equivalent

Bubs Easy-digest Goat Milk Infant Formula Stage 2

800 g/28.19 oz.

No US equivalent

June 4, 2022
Abbott, the company that makes Similac formula, announced it would start making EleCare and other specialty and metabolic formulas again at their Michigan factory. The company expects EleCare formula to be available later this month. Read the company’s June 4 statement.

What You Should Do

  • If you have questions or concerns about whether your child’s nutritional needs are being met or about what formula you can give your infant, call your child’s pediatrician or RIDOH’s Health Information Line, 401-222-5960.
  • If the kind of formula you usually use is not available, switch to another brand of formula that is available. Standard formula brand like Similac and Enfamil (soy or milk-based) are interchangeable. If your baby uses a specialized formula, check with your baby’s doctor to see if there is another formula you can use.
  • Check smaller stores, bodegas, or pharmacies to see if they have formula in stock. Call ahead of time to check if they have the formula you need.
  • The current formula shortage is being worsened by a large national recall of baby formula. Check the lot number on any formula you already have. Check the online list of lot numbers that have been recalled.  If the lot number is not included in the recall and the formula is not expired, it is okay to use.
  • Women who are pregnant should consider breastfeeding. To learn more about the benefits of breastfeeding, visit RIDOH’s website. For breastfeeding and lactation resources, contact RIDOH at 401-222-5960.
  • Do not dilute formula or use extra water to make the powdered formula last longer. Follow the formula manufacturer’s preparation and storage directions.
  • Don’t buy formula from people you don’t know on social media sites, online auctions, or overseas. You need to be careful to avoid scams. Order formula only from reputable and trustworthy sites.
  • Do not make homemade formula or give toddler formula to infants.
  • Do not give cow’s milk or other non-dairy milks (almond, soy, oat, sheep, goat) if they are younger than age one unless you have talked to your child’s pediatrician.
  • Do not hoard formula. When there is a limited supply, we need to make sure there is enough for everyone. Some stores are limiting the amount of formula you can buy at one time.
  • If your baby is six months or older, consider starting solid food to supplement formula.

The US Department of Health and Human Services has additional information for families online, including hotlines for the different formula manufacturers.

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