A nationwide baby food shortage leaves Bay Area stores empty

SAN FRANCISCO (KPIX) — Parents struggle to find baby food on store shelves in the Bay Area and beyond.

The baby food aisle at Target and Buy Buy Baby in Daly City was virtually wiped clean Monday night. It is a common occurrence in stores across the country.

Analysts say the shortfall is caused by supply chain challenges, inflation and product recalls.

In February, the FDA recalled Abbott’s baby food, citing possible bacterial infections.

“Unfortunately for me, I can’t breastfeed my kids. I’m very dependent on bottle feeding, otherwise my child won’t be able to eat, so it was stressful, but luckily we made it through,” said Linda Flores, a mom in Southern California.

Supply is so low that CVS, Walgreens and Target are limiting purchases.

Pediatricians say parents may have to buy a brand they wouldn’t normally choose due to a lack of stock.

“Some parents have to travel to 1, 2, 4, 5 stores to find suitable formulas for their babies,” says Dr. Eric Ball of Children’s Hospital Orange County. “The only thing you want to make sure is that you are not trying to make your own baby food or replace it with just cow’s milk or anything else for anyone under 12 months old.”

New data from Datasembly shows that 40 percent of baby food brands are out of stock.

On Monday, the White House press secretary said the FDA is working with suppliers to make the prescription available earlier.

“What we’re trying to do in short is expand the offering by partnering with a range of manufacturers and what their capacity is to ensure that the kind of formula that was recalled – they can make sure it’s on the shelves” said Jen Psaki.

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