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Baby formula shortage: Washington officials urge parents to avoid 'dangerous' homemade recipes

As prices skyrocket across the nation, the Washington State Department of Health wants parents to avoid resorting to homemade alternatives for baby formula.

SEATTLE — As parents around the nation scramble to grapple with a shortage of baby formula products in the U.S., state officials are urging families to avoid resorting to homemade alternatives.

Washington state's Department of Health shared a social media post earlier this week warning of "dangerous" homemade formula.

Out-of-stock rates have surged for formula in recent months, with Washington among a number of states experiencing higher than 40% in April. Rates have been even higher in some metro areas, including Seattle.

In February, the Food and Drug Administration announced the recall of Similac, Alimentum and EleCare powdered infant formulas produced in Sturgis, Michigan. The FDA said it's investigating consumer complaints of bacterial infections in four infants who consumed powdered infant formula produced in Abbott Nutrition’s facility in Sturgis.

The recall has made an impact on local food banks, which are struggling to keep up with increased demand for formula amid higher prices.

"The biggest items we distribute through this program are diapers and formula," White Center Food Bank Executive Director Carmen Smith told KING 5's Kalie Greenberg last week.

The White House launched a webpage Friday with a summary of resources to help families find formula, including manufacturer hotlines and local community resources.

President Biden also met with manufacturers this week to learn how they could increase production and how his administration could help.

WSDOH also shared a social media post on Friday explaining the importance of talking to a healthcare provider before switching an infant over to a new kind of formula.