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Potential baby formula contamination in Tucson

Mainly east side Walmart and Fry's locations
Posted at 9:29 PM, May 11, 2017
and last updated 2017-05-13 01:51:42-04

Tucson Police have issued an urgent warning for the Tucson community regarding infant baby formula tampering. 

Police arrested 30-year-old Jennifer LaPlante. She was booked into Pima County Jail and made her initial appearance Friday. Her bond was set at $50,000.


From TPD: 30-year-old woman arrested for allegedly replacing infant formula w/flour, other substances. A number of stores in Tucson @kgun9

— Whitney Clark (@whitneyclarktv) May 12, 2017


They learned LaPlante has been engaging in a pattern of stealing infant formula, refilling the container with other substances, resealing the containers and returning it to the store. 

Police said Thursday that the product impacted is Gerber GoodStart soy but can not rule out that any other product has been affected. 


.@Tucson_Police say Jennifer Laplante allegedly stole infant formula from several businesses & retuned it after tampering w/ formula @kgun9

— Priscilla KGUN9 (@PriscillaCasper) May 12, 2017


According to the Interim complaint, a two-month-old was transported to Tucson Medical Center due to the infant acting lethargic. The baby had been given a bottle of formula (Gerber Soy) which had a strong chemical smell.


Laplante has admitted to mixing in flours, sugar, and/or rice cereal into the formula before returning it.

The complaint also said she secured the lid back onto the formula container by using a strong smelling adhesive and admitted it was being done for cash benefit. 

.@ChiefCMagnus advises parents to examine their baby formula and make sure it doesn't smell weird @kgun9

— Priscilla KGUN9 (@PriscillaCasper) May 12, 2017


Police have confirmed that the formula was purchased at Fry's located at 7050 E. 22nd St. near Kolb.

All the stores involved in the tampering incident so far include: 

Fry's 7050 E 22nd St.

Fry's 9401 E 22nd St.

Walmart Marketplace 8640 E Broadway Blvd.

Walmart 7150 E. Speedway Blvd.

According to Fry's spokeswoman Pam Giamatti, all returned baby food is marked with a sticker labeling it not for resale. The labeling is a guideline, not a policy, and Giamatti could not confirm that returned baby formula was not resold in this instance.

Walmart spokesman Khim Aday released this statement: 

“Like everyone else, we are deeply disturbed by this situation and take it very seriously. Our customers deserve safe, quality foods, and we have policies in place to help ensure that returned baby food is not put back on our shelves. We are working with local law enforcement, and because this is an ongoing investigation, we must refer all other questions to them.”

Aday would not say whether Walmart would refund possibly contaminated formula.

If you have recently purchased the formula from any of these east side locations, police urge you to examine the product.  Any suspicious products can be dropped off at the Tucson Police Evidence Facility located at 945 E Ohio St. from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Detectives are working with Fry's and Walmart stores. Both stores have removed any old stock formula from the shelves in Tucson and replaced it with new formula.

If you have any questions, you can Tucson police at 520-791-5059.

If you intend to purchase the product, police ask that you examine the formula carefully before using.

A Fry's representative tells KGUN9 that customers can bring the formula back to any location for a full refund, no questions asked.

Stay with KGUN9 and for the latest on this developing story.