A North Carolina mom has complained the baby formula she bought from Walmart wasn’t actually formula, rather a substance that looks and smells like flour.
Now, police are investigating several cases of people reportedly buying baby formula, replacing it with flour, and returning the product for cash.
“I looked at the milk and I realize something’s definitely weird, the color is different, the texture was different,” said mom Madeline Roque.
Roque said she noticed the baby formula she’d purchased from Walmart looked off.
She was desperately trying to figure out what was going on with her 9-month-old Adeline when the baby was crying, vomiting, and refusing her bottle.
“She was throwing up throughout the day passing a lot of gas … I just knew something was wrong,” Roque said.
She noticed the mixture separated after she let it stand for a while—something baby formula never did.
“And then when I poured it the bottle into the sink I saw how it got, that’s when it hit me. I saw how it clumped up and I’m like oh my god my daughter’s stomach is just the same or worse,” Roque said.
Roque tasted it, and said that’s when she realized it was flour.
“You don’t know they’re allergic, if her throat had closed up from a gluten reaction,” she said.
In a few cases the NBC Charlotte Defenders team uncovered, those tampered formulas reportedly made it back on store shelves.
Walmart said that store policy is to not put any returned products back on the shelves, but they confirmed they’re investigating this incident, according to NBC Charlotte.
This kind of thing has been reported several times before. Some parents say they didn’t realize what was off until their children got sick.
When buying formula, parents should make sure everything is sealed, not damaged or opened. The formula also will always mix with water, so if it separates, that’s a sign it might contain something else.