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Blueberry recall: Check your pantry now to avoid potential lead poisoning

Published Jul 18th, 2022 11:27AM EDT
Blueberries in wicker basket on old table with back light.
Image: Milan/Adobe

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Lead is a substance that’s routinely found in the environment. It’s present in dust, water, and even food. But if lead levels surpass a certain threshold, and if a person is regularly exposed to higher concentrations, lead poisoning can occur. That’s why BrandStorm issued a recall for two lots of Natierra freeze-dried blueberries.

According to the company, these frozen blueberries might contain levels of lead above the recommended FDA limits.

Natierra Organic Freeze-Dried Blueberries recall

BrandStorm recently announced the recall of the two Natierra Organic Freeze-Dried Blueberries lots that might contain elevated levels of lead. Additionally, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) published the press release at this link.

A lab in Maryland discovered the higher concentration of lead in the freeze-dried blueberries that are included in the recall. An investigation at the packing site showed the problem might be with the origin of the fruit, which is Lithuania. As a result, more aggressive monitoring of heavy metals may be necessary.

BrandStorm included two lots of Natierra freeze-dried blueberries in the recall, as follows:

  • Lot 2021363-1, Best By Date: 12/2024, 1 serving, 1.2oz (34g), UPC 812907011160
  • Lot 2022026-1, Best By Date: 01/2025, 1 serving, 1.2oz (34g), UPC 812907011160

The company sold these products in the US through retail stores and online. They come in white and blue pouches featuring the Natierra brand and logo. The images in this post should help you identify the recalled freeze-dried blueberries with ease.

Natierra Organic Freeze-Dried Blueberry recall: The front side of the retail package.
Natierra Organic Freeze-Dried Blueberry recall: The front side of the retail package. Image source: BrandStorm via FDA

Lead poisoning risk

Exposure to lead is unavoidable, but it’s only higher concentrations of the metal and prolonged exposure that can lead to lead poisoning.

People with a high lead concentration in their blood might not show any symptoms. But lead poisoning will impact the nervous system and internal organs. Also, acute lead poisoning might cause abdominal pain, muscle weakness, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, weight loss, and bloody or decreased urinary output.

Importantly, children are more vulnerable than adults to lead poisoning. After prolonged exposure, kids can experience learning disorders, developmental defects, and other long-term health problems.

“Lead accumulates in our bodies, and you want to minimize as much exposure as possible,” Dr. Kenneth Rosenman, MD Professor of Medicine at Michigan State University told BGR in a statement. “Presumably, you would have to eat a lot of blueberries to get lead poisoning.”

He continued, “It is very unusual for lead to get on fresh produce, and lead in fresh produce has not been a problem, and should not be a problem. Overall, lead is not an issue generally for produce, and we need to hear more about these circumstances and how the blueberries were contaminated.”

BrandStorm says it has not received reports of adverse events related to the Natierra freeze-dried blueberries recall.

Natierra Organic Freeze-Dried Blueberry recall: The rear side of the retail package contains the identifying information.
Natierra Organic Freeze-Dried Blueberry recall: The rear side of the retail package contains the identifying information. Image source: BrandStorm via FDA

What you should do

The company advises customers not to consume the Natierra Organic Freeze-Dried Blueberries from the two lots in the recall. Instead, they should discard the product and seek a refund at the place of purchase.

Buyers will need to validate the lot codes of the affected pouches to obtain the refund. Also of note, people who bought the product online should reach out to BrandStorm directly for a refund.

Furthermore, customers who ate the product and have experienced side effects should contact their doctors. Similarly, anyone worried about lead poisoning effects should reach out to their healthcare provider.

Finally, you should read the recall announcement in full at this link. It contains all the information you might need, including contact information for BrandStorm.

Chris Smith Senior Writer

Chris Smith has been covering consumer electronics ever since the iPhone revolutionized the industry in 2008. When he’s not writing about the most recent tech news for BGR, he brings his entertainment expertise to Marvel’s Cinematic Universe and other blockbuster franchises.

Outside of work, you’ll catch him streaming almost every new movie and TV show release as soon as it's available.

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