A grain rice cereal is being recalled by Beech-Nut Nutrition due to the presence of inorganic arsenic in the product that could impact infants and children, forcing the company to stop producing it altogether.
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced that the company has issued a voluntary recall of one lot of Beech-Nut Stage 1, Single Grain Rice Cereal after tests of the product showed that it was above the guidance level for naturally occurring inorganic arsenic.
According to the FDA, it “has recognized that trace elements such as these are widely present in the environment, including water, soil, and food; and has also stated that exposure to elevated levels of naturally occurring inorganic arsenic can pose a health hazard to young children.”
The specific Beech-Nut Single Grain Rice item (UPC Code# 52200034705) being recalled has an expiration date of May 1, 2022, and product codes: 103470XXXX and 093470XXXX.
The expiration date and product numbers can be found at the bottom of the Beech-Nut Single Rice Cereal canister.
The specific product codes were distributed nationally through retail and online.
According to the FDA, “in addition to issuing the voluntary recall, Beech-Nut has also decided to exit the market for Beech-Nut branded Single Grain Rice Cereal.
“Beech-Nut is concerned about the ability to consistently obtain rice flour well below the FDA guidance level and Beech-Nut specifications for naturally occurring inorganic arsenic.”
No illnesses related to consumers eating the products have been reported, and officials noted that no other production dates or Beech-Nut products are impacted by the recall.
It’s the first time infant rice cereal has been recalled over arsenic concerns since FDA first proposed a voluntary limit for arsenic in the product category in 2016.
“The safety of infants and children is Beech-Nut's top priority,” Jason Jacobs, the company's Vice President of Food Safety and Quality said.
“We are issuing this voluntary recall, because we learned through routine sampling by the State of Alaska that a limited quantity of Beech-Nut Single Grain Rice Cereal products had levels of naturally-occurring inorganic arsenic above the FDA guidance level, even though the rice flour used to produce these products tested below the FDA guidance level for inorganic arsenic.”
According to researchers, studies have shown that for babies and kids, children and babies having arsenic in their bodies over time could lead to:
- Lower IQ;
- Impaired brain development;
- Growth problems;
- Breathing problems;
- An unhealthy immune system;
- Cancer as an adult.
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