TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) - In a news conference Thursday, May 11. the Tucson Police Department announced a public health concern for baby formula.
According to TPD Chief Chris Magnus, 30-year-old Jennifer Laplante purchased baby formula, removed the product and replaced it with flour and other substances before returning it to the stores for refunds.
"If you have recently purchased infant formula from a Tucson business, particularly from the east side, examine the product carefully," Magnus said. "If there's anything unusual about the product or the seal, there's a lack of seal, or the product looks or smells funny in any way, do not use the product and notify our department."
Magnus said Laplante bought formula from several stores on Tucson's east side, including:
- Frys at 7050 East 22nd Street
- Frys at 9401 East 22nd Street
- Walmart at 8640 Broadway Boulevard
- Walmart at 7150 East Speedway
There could be other possible stores where the tainted product was returned, stated TPD officials, but have not released those locations yet.
"In abundance of caution, I would suggest that where ever parents are purchasing this product, they give it an added level of scrutiny," Magnus said. "We cannot rule out that there are other locations where this type of activity has gone on."
Gerber Good Start Soy formula is one of the products that may be tainted. According to TPD there may be other formulas that are tainted, but those brands are not known at this time.
"We can't rule out that there could be other versions of this particular product or other brands in fact involved," Magnus said. "So I would say any purchase of a similar product should be scrutinized carefully."
TPD advises parents who may have bought formula from one of the stores to:
- Examine the container carefully
- Lacks a seal, or if seal is open or cracked
- May smell funny
- Don’t use product and notify TPD
- Bring to TPD Evidence facility (945 East Ohio Street)
- Carefully inspect containers if you plan on buying formula
One baby has possibly been sickened by the formula, but was treated and released from the hospital, according to Chief Magnus.
Laplante has been booked into the Pima County Jail and is facing charges of fraudulent schemes and artifices and child endangerment. She is being held on a $50,000 bond. Other charges may be pending.