Walmart has been in the news quite a bit these days, albeit for all the wrong reasons. Just last week, we reported that the nationwide retailer was experiencing a shortage of five key items, including meat and chicken. And now comes word that the company is recalling three lots of a baby food cereal product due to excessive arsenic levels.
The FDA announced the baby food recall via its website over the weekend. The specific cereal is manufactured by Maple Island Inc. and is sold under the Parent’s Choice Rice Baby Cereal brand.
The Baby Food being recalled
As part of a regular testing program, the FDA said that three production lots of Parent’s Choice Rice Baby Cereal had unusually high arsenic levels. Walmart quickly pulled all of the products from its stores. Additionally, the company implemented a register block via software to prevent any further online or in-store sales. Naturally, if you have the product in question at home, you should throw it away immediately.
The production lots subject to the recall come in 8-ounce packages and were all sold after April 5, 2021. The UPC codes of the impacted baby food product include Lot 21083, 21804, and 21242. The UPC Code for all three is #00681131082907. The recalled products have best used by dates of June 24, 2022, June 25, 2022, and November 30, 2022.
You can find these dates and product numbers on the bottom left of the packaging.
If you have the recalled baby food in your possession, you should throw it away or bring it back to the store for a full refund.
Impacted customers looking for more information about the recalled baby food can call Maple Island at 1-800-369-1022. Their hours of operation are Monday through Friday from 8 am to 4 pm Central Time. You can also email the company at email@example.com.
It’s worth noting that there have been no reports of illness related to the baby food recall so far.
Danger or elevated arsenic levels
The FDA notes:
While the test results were in compliance with the FDA’s guidelines, Maple Island Inc. is issuing this recall out of an abundance of caution. FDA has recognized that trace elements such as these are widely present in the environment, including water, soil and food. The FDA also noted that research has shown reducing exposure to toxic elements is important to minimizing any potential long-term effects on the developing brains of infants and children.
And while the baby food in question doesn’t appear to have an excessive amount of arsenic, swallowing something with a high level of the chemical element can cause several symptoms, including, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, muscle weakness, skin rashes, and cramping. What’s more, long-term exposure to lower levels of arsenic, according to the American Cancer Society, can cause “skin changes, liver and kidney damage, and a shortage of red and white blood cells, which can lead to fatigue and an increased risk of infections.”