Jul 19, 2022 - Economy

Freeze-dried blueberries recalled over lead poisoning risk

Pouch of Natierra organic blueberries

Natierra organic blueberries are being voluntarily recalled. Photo courtesy of BrandStorm Inc. via FDA

Select pouches of Natierra Organic Freeze-Dried Blueberries sold nationwide have been voluntarily recalled because they could contain high levels of lead, according to a recall notice.

Why it matters: Consumers are being warned to "not consume" the product due to "the presence or potential presence of lead above the FDA's recommended limits," BrandStorm Inc. said in the recall posted on the U.S. Food & Drug Administration website.

  • Lead is a toxic substance present and exposure to larger amounts can cause lead poisoning, the recall said.
  • The recalled product was sold in white and blue pouches with the Natierra brand and logo.

Threat level: BrandStorm Inc. said last week that it has not received "reports of adverse events related to use of the product as part of this proactive recall."

Yes, but: If consumers experience symptoms, they "should seek medical advice from their physician immediately," the recall said.

What they're saying: "The concern was identified upon testing conducted by a lab in Maryland," the company said in the recall notice, adding an "investigation was conducted by the packing site."

  • "After further investigation it was found that the products county of Origin is Lithuania and aggressive monitoring of heavy metals may be deemed necessary," the company said.
  • "As an immediate action the packing site is actively working to enhance food safety system by implementing mandatory batch testing for heavy metal."

Natierra blueberries recall

Context: The recall is for two lots of Natierra Organic Freeze-Dried Blueberries 1.2-ounce pouches (UPC 812907011160) distributed in the U.S. through retail and online stores.

  • Lot 2021363-1 has a “Best By Date” of December 2024
  • Lot 2022026-1 has a “Best By Date” of January 2025

Of note: Consumers can get a refund for the affected products at the stores where they were purchased, the recall notice said.

Lead poisoning symptoms

The FDA recall notice said that people with high blood levels of lead may show no symptoms, but "the condition may cause damage to the nervous system and internal organs."

Meanwhile, acute lead poisoning "may cause a wide range of symptoms, including abdominal pain, muscle weakness, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, weight loss, and bloody or decreased urinary output."

  • Children are "particularly vulnerable to lead poisoning" and if a child is "exposed to enough lead for a protracted period of time (e.g., weeks to months) permanent damage to the central nervous system can occur."

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