PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — Parents in Rhode Island will be able to purchase baby formula from the United Kingdom and Australia as soon as this week.
The R.I. Department of Health announced Tuesday the supply will be available at Target. The batch will reach the U.S. via President Joe Biden’s Operation Fly Formula, which aims to relieve the strain of the formula shortage by shipping in international brands.
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) approved the use of the baby formula from the two countries.
Abbott Nutrition, the largest manufacturer of baby formula in U.S., recalled some of its products in February due to a potential bacterial contamination. Regulators shut down its Michigan plant, which remained closed until last week.
The international shipment will include Kendamil Classic, Kendamil organic formula and seven types of Bubs brand formula, according to the Health Department.
Health officials are urging parents to purchase only what they need and follow the instructions when preparing the formula.
“Although the labels look a little different, this formula has been approved by the federal government and is safe for parents to use,” said interim Health Director James McDonald, MD, MPH. “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.”
Those with questions about the formula can call the Health Information Line at (401) 222-5960.