If you normally pick up your baby formula at CVS you might notice a popular brand is missing from the drug store's shelves. CVS has pulled all powdered Enfamil baby formula from stores across the country.
If you use Enfamil, don't worry: This is not a recall. CVS is taking precautions after a mom in Florida reported the tub she purchased at CVS had been tampered with. She says the baby formula had been replaced with flour.
CVS acted promptly following this report of tampering, pulling all the powdered Enfamil until an investigation is complete.
What you need to know
WFTS News out of Tampa reports mom Alison Denning bought the container at a CVS in Oldsmar, Florida. She said the outside of the package looked unremarkable, as the protective seal didn't seem to have been tampered with.
But when Denning opened the container she found a broken seal, and a powder that didn't seem to be baby formula. "This smells like typical baking flour," she told WFTS, recalling the event.
Dennings reported her concern to CVS and the formula manufacturer, who reportedly sent a shipping box to Dennings overnight so she could send them the suspect powder for testing. In the meantime, CVS started by removing all powered Enfamil from store shelves at the location where Dennings made her purchase last week, WFTS reports, and has now expanded the precautionary removal to all CVS stores nationwide.
"Enfamil powder is temporarily unavailable in our stores due to an internal review being conducted by CVS Pharmacy. Our store employees can assist customers with finding an alternative product in the meantime. We apologize for any inconvenience," said in a statement to WFTS on Wednesday.
This wouldn't be the first time this has happened
The Florida case come shortly after reports of a similar incident in Arizona. In that case, first-time mom Chelsea Bellinger told 12 News in Tucson that her baby girl became ill after drinking what she believes was flour placed in a tampered container of Enfamil AR.
Last year, in a separate case, a 30-year-old Tucson woman was charged after a baby also became sick after drinking formula made from a tampered container. Tucson police issued a statement describing an alleged ongoing formula tampering scam in which the contents of containers at several stores were replaced with flour and other substances.
"Through the course of the investigation, detectives learned Ms. Laplante had purchased the baby formula, replaced the contents and returned the formula to the four stores initially provided for a refund," the Tucson Police Department wrote in a statement posted to Facebook.
According to Tucson News Now, police reports noted the grandmother of the baby who became ill did think the formula lid was easier to open than normal "and called it weird."
After drinking a bottle made with the tampered formula, the baby reportedly cried and vomited. The family called their doctor and then took the baby to Tucson Medical Center after the child became lethargic. Thankfully, the baby was okay.
Don't panic, but do be vigilant
If you purchase baby formula from any store and it seems to be tampered with in any way (if seals are missing, or if it smells odd or has a consistency different from what you are used to seeing in previous containers) don't use it. Report it to the retailer and the manufacturer so that they can do what CVS is doing now.
If you have more questions or need to report a tampering incident, you can contact the company at 1-800-BABY123.
It might be inconvenient for some families to not be able to buy Enfamil at CVS right now, but we (and Denning) are grateful that the retailer is taking this so seriously and being proactive about protecting vulnerable babies.