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In response to Abbott recall, USDA issues more flexibility to WIC program

Alejandro Figueroa

Last week, the healthcare company Abbott recalled some infant powdered formulas after four consumer complaints related to salmonella.

In response, the USDA grantedmore flexibility to the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children, or WIC, because some of the formulas recalled are provided through the program.

The powdered formulas recalled include Similac, Alimentum and EleCare. All of the products are manufactured in a single plant in Sturgis, Michigan. After further investigation, Abbott did find evidence of salmonella in the facility, according to a press release.

The Ohio Department of Health — which oversees the WIC program — has already shared lists of impacted participants with local agencies.

In Ohio, about 158,000 participants are participating in the WIC program as of last month. Of those, over 2,000 were impacted by the recall.

The Ohio Department of Health advises people to either return or dispose of the cans of recalled powder.

A spokesman for the department said arrangements have been made to replace those cans with a comparable product.

A small number of participants needed new prescriptions from their health care provider. But the state said it has overall worked to make it easier for participants to find substitute products.

Alejandro Figueroa is a corps member with Report for America, a national service program that places journalists into local newsrooms.

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Alejandro Figueroa