Sriracha hot sauce and peanut butter are the latest additions on the list of hard-to-find products amid the supply chain crisis in President Biden’s America, joining other items such as baby formula and recently, tampons.
The country is still grappling with a baby formula shortage following the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) shutting down the Abbott Nutrition plant in Sturgis, Michigan, in February to investigate a purported bacterial outbreak at the facility. The investigation came after four infants became ill.
“The February voluntary recall involved four complaints of Cronobacter sakazakii — a common environmental bacteria — in infants who consumed infant formulas produced in this plant. Two infants became sick; two tragically passed away,” Abbott wrote in a May 11 update.
However, Abbot said that after a “thorough review of all available data, there is no evidence to link our formulas to these infant illnesses.” Though it finally reopened this month, it has been forced to close again due to flooding.
Meanwhile, tampons are in short supply, as Procter & Gamble, which comprises about half of the menstrual care market, admitted that consumers may be temporarily unable to find the products they need.
“The Tampax team is producing tampons 24/7 to meet the increased demand for our products,” the company said in a statement, according to NBC News. “We are working with our retail partners to maximize availability, which has significantly increased over the last several months.”
Three states are being hit particularly hard — Alaska, Hawaii and West Virginia — according to reports.
But it does not end there. Huy Fong Foods, which produces the ever-popular sriracha hot sauce, said it is facing an “unprecedented shortage” of chili staples, explaining in a statement that it is “still endeavoring to resolve this issue that has be [sic] caused by several spiraling events, including unexpected crop failure from the spring chili harvest.”
Michigan State University chaired professor of supply chain management David Closs told MLive that a number of factors are at play.
“One of them is a shortage of raw materials, packaging and food ingredients that go into the hot sauce,” he said, according to the outlet.
Peanut butter is another kitchen staple that could become scarcer as Americans worry that other basic products may become more difficult to obtain.
“Nearly 50 types of creamy, crunchy and natural Jif peanut butter were recalled in late May by J. M. Smucker Co. due to potential Salmonella contamination. Sixteen illnesses across a dozen states have been connected to the recall, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control,” MLive reported.