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Arsenic Levels Trigger Recall of Beech-Nut Infant Cereal

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THURSDAY, June 10, 2021 (HealthDay News) — Excessive levels of arsenic in some samples of Single Grain Rice infant cereal sold across the United States have prompted Beech-Nut Nutrition to recall the product.

“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,” Jason Jacobs, Beech-Nut’s vice president of food safety and quality, said in a statement, CBS News reported.

No illnesses related to the recalled products have been reported, according to Beech-Nut.

Testing showed that levels of naturally occurring inorganic arsenic were higher than the guidance level set by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration last year, CBS News reported.

“Exposure to elevated levels of naturally occurring inorganic arsenic can pose a health hazard to young children,” according to the FDA, which in April announced plans to propose limits on arsenic, lead and mercury in baby food.

Consumer advocates praised the recall.

“We’ve known for years that toxic heavy metals are found in popular baby foods and can lead to serious health problems in children over time,” Brian Ronholm, director of food policy for Consumer Reports, said in a statement released Wednesday, CBS News reported. “We need strict limits to keep dangerous heavy metals out of the food that so many parents serve their young children every day.”

Consumer Reports has urged Congress to pass the Baby Food Safety Act of 2021, which would require the FDA to adopt strict limits on heavy metals, including lead and mercury, in all infant food.

The recall is for Beech-Nut Single Grain Rice infant cereal with the UPC Code number 52200034705, an expiration date of May 1, 2022, and product codes 103470XXXX and 093470XXXX, CBS News reported.

Consumers should discard the recalled product and can get more information on exchanges or refunds by going to the company’s website or by calling (866) 272-9417, Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.

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