National Formula Shortage

The national shortage of baby and toddler formula has been challenging for parents of babies and children who rely on formula. El Paso County Public Health is closely monitoring the situation and working with federal, state, local and community partners to ensure families have the information they need regarding options during the national formula shortage. 

The shortage began during the COVID-19 pandemic due to supply-chain issues and was further impacted in February 2022 due to the Abbott Nutrition formula recall. Formula manufacturers are ramping up production, but to prevent shortages from worsening, some retailers are limiting the number of cans of baby formula customers can purchase at one time. 

What should I do if I can’t find formula? 

The shortage has left some parents feeling like they have few options. The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) warns caregivers not to water down formula or feed homemade formula to your baby. Babies should not be fed formula that has expired because nutrients can degrade and bacteria can grow over time.  If you need further assistance, caregivers are encouraged to call the WIC office (719-578-3199, Option 6) and contact your pediatrician with any concerns about your baby’s health. More information about navigating the formula shortage is available in the linked resources below. 

What’s the recall’s impact on Colorado WIC clients? 

Abbott Nutrition has issued a voluntary recall of certain formulas they produce. This does not affect most formulas received by Colorado WIC clients. This does not include Enfamil formulas. 

The recalled formulas that impact Colorado WIC clients are Alimentum, EleCare, EleCare Junior, Similac 60/40, and Human Milk Fortifier (HMF) powdered formulas. The recall does not include liquid formula products.  

If you use Alimentum, EleCare, EleCare Junior, Similac 60/40, or HMF powdered formula, follow these steps:  

  • Check to see if your formula has been recalled at   
  • If your formula is recalled, do NOT use it. Contact your local WIC clinic. They will discuss your options with you.   
  • If your formula is not included in the recall, you can keep using it. 
  • If your baby or child receives another specialty formula from WIC and you’re having trouble finding it at the store, please contact your local WIC office for assistance. 

Photo of baby with bottle