The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) has released a statement cautioning the public after baby formula was tampered with at an Edmonton store.
According to the CFIA, reports came in from the Walmart at 775 Tamarack Way.
“Infant formula products have been found where the tamper-proof seals had been broken and the product inside the containers had been substituted,” read a CFIA advisory issued Wednesday.
The CFIA did not say which brands may have been tampered with.
The CFIA also advised that these types of tampering aren’t from the manufacturer’s end, but are rather from consumers who return products for a refund. The CFIA also did not clarify what was added to the tampered substance.
The product’s tampering was noticed after an Edmonton mother noticed a strange colouring to her child’s formula.
According to Emily Myrehaug, she believes the product may have been mixed with flour.
“I opened it and I noticed that it was actually a different colour,” said Myrehaug, mother of five-month-old son Breckan. “It was more brown-white. Usually it’s very white, and obviously I could tell the difference and I thought it was kind of weird.”
“When I tasted the flour obviously I was pretty freaked out.”
Myrehaug also said the CFIA collected samples of her tainted formula for testing.
In a statement emailed to CBC News, Walmart Canada said food safety is a top priority of the company.
“We take these matters very seriously. We are aware of the CFIA Consumer Advisory and are investigating further with our store at 775 Tamarack Way N.W. in Edmonton. The product in question has been removed from the store floor while we investigate,” read the statement.
A dangerous swap
This comes only two days after reports that an Arizona experienced a similar incident, when her 9-month-old daughter got sick drinking formula that she believes was tampered with.
Madeline Roque says she bought baby formula from a Walmart store in Phoenix last month. But when she prepared a bottle, her daughter didn’t want to drink it.
“I just thought she was going through the teething process, which she gets cranky,” Rogue told KPNX.
Rogue made a second and third bottle before she started to notice “something was definitely wrong.”
“She was throwing up throughout the whole day, passing a lot of gas,” she said.
“Then when I poured the bottle in the sink, and I saw how it got. That’s when it just hit me. I saw how it clumped up, and in my head, I’m like my daughter’s stomach is just the same, or even worse,” she said.
At this point, Roque believes the formula was flour, which was mixed with the formula at some point.
Arizona police have investigated similar cases of people reportedly buying expensive baby formula, swapping out a portion with flour, then returning it for cash.