ST. LOUIS — Baby formula production is now ramping up again, but it's still going to take some time to before store shelves fill up.
Abbott Labs, one of the United States' largest producers of baby formula, has reopened its facility in Michigan after closing due to contamination in February. The factory's closure kickstarted the nation's major shortage of baby formula.
The company said specialty formula for food allergies could be back in stores by June 20.
Aside from hunting and gathering on their own, caregivers should know that some websites are now offering their services to look for inventory. Here are at least three that typically hunt for hard-to-find electronics and hot deals, but now are offering their services to find baby formula.
Zoolert: This website monitors the availability of products and alerts you when they're in stock. You can register to receive alerts, and the company says it is free and spam-free.
Hotstock: This website says you can browse hard-to-get products by using the website or app. You can sign up for alerts, and the company will track the product for stock at various stores and send you a notification.
Now In Stock: NowInstock.net is a free web service that monitors online retailer websites to see when products are available. You can also suggest a product to the website.
Many parents are still struggling to find formula around the U.S. Out of stock rates climbed to 74% nationally for the week ending May 28, according to a company called Datasembly, which tracks 130,000 stores across the country.
Some states are much worse. Bloomberg reports Missouri is at a nearly 89% shortage rate while Illinois is doing better at 64%. Some states are in the 90% range and higher.
A British manufacturer is also delivering at least two million cans of Kendamil formula to the United States.