Health officials 'slightly more optimistic' about baby formula shortage in Utah

Cyndle Bass feeds 5-month-old Austin formula at their Eagle Mountain home on May 11.

Cyndle Bass feeds 5-month-old Austin formula at their Eagle Mountain home on May 11. (Laura Seitz, Deseret News)

Estimated read time: 2-3 minutes

SALT LAKE CITY — Utah parents may have an easier time finding certain types of baby formula, but the baby formula shortage in the state is far from over, according to health officials.

The Utah Department of Health issued an update on Thursday to address formula availability, saying they are "becoming slightly more optimistic."

"It is still going to be some time before supplies are normal again, but we are hopeful we will get there," the department tweeted. "The lack of specialty formulas still remains one of our biggest problems."

Where to find baby formula: Formula availability is improving in Utah, according to the Utah Department of Health and Similac Sensitive products are back on some shelves for the first time since the Food and Drug Administration issued a recall of some formulas back in February.

  • Pre-mixed, ready-to-feed formulas are continuously being shipped to Utah now that the Abbott Nutrition plant has been given the green light to resume production. Inventory amounts vary by county, the department said.
  • In Salt Lake County, Walmart is the vendor with the most inventory. Smith's is the best place to find formula in Cache County.
  • Associated Food Stores are only receiving minimal product, according to the department, which is their top priority at the moment.

How Utah is responding: The Utah Department of Health continues to request that product be shared between stores to ensure an even distribution of inventory, and they have spoken with Gerber and Mead Johnson to request more product.

Your questions, answered: In its Thursday update, the department of health also provided answers to some frequently asked questions. Here's what you should know:

  • How long will it take my baby to get used to a new formula? Most babies can change formula without any major problems. It can take about three to five days, though, to get used to a new formula.
  • Should I be worried if my baby has side effects after changing formulas? Not usually. Your baby may be more fussy or gassy than normal. You may also see changes in your baby's poop as his or her body adjusts. Your baby may spit up more.
  • Can I give my baby water, juice or tea? No. It's not safe to give babies younger than 6 months old any of these drinks. They do not provide the nutrients your baby needs and can cause life-threatening health problems.

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