Police investigating reports of formula swapped with flour after babies become ill

A woman puts powdered formula into a baby bottle. (Shutterstock/N-studio)

CHARLOTTE, NC (WTHR) — Police are investigating several cases of people swapping baby formula for flour and returning it to stores.

In some of the cases, the formula has made it back on the shelves, WCNC reported. And it's made some babies sick.

"Yesterday she was a completely different baby," Madeline Roque, told WCNC about her 9-month-old.

Her daughter, Adeline, was crying, vomiting and refusing a bottle and Roque couldn't figure out what was wrong. That's when Roque noticed the formula she had purchased from Walmart didn't look right.

"I looked at the milk and I realize something's definitely weird, the color is different, the texture was different," Roque said.

She notified Walmart and said she believed the formula was actually flour. Walmart and police are investigating.

Just last month, an Arizona couple was arrested and accused of running a baby formula theft ring. In 2017, a similar incident occurred where a mom realized the formula looked "off" and when she tasted it, she realized it was flour.

WCNC has found several other reports of formula tampering at Walmart and CVS. Authorities are investigating all incidents.

Authorities and companies say it's important to make sure everything is sealed and not damaged. Formula that separates when mixed with water is also a sign that it's been tampered with.