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Business News

Nationwide recall issued for organic freeze-dried blueberries over possible lead presence

todayJuly 19, 2022

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(NEW YORK) — BrandStorm Inc. has announced a voluntary recall of two lots of its organic freeze-dried blueberry pouches due to “the presence or potential presence of lead above the FDA’s recommended limits; per the serving size specified on the nutritional facts panel.”

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration shared the company’s recall announcement on Thursday, stating that the two affected products were sold under the brand Natierra.

The recalled items include Natierra Organic Freeze-Dried Blueberries in 1.2-ounce packages and the issue was isolated to products with “best by” dates 12/2024 and 01/2025. According to BrandStorm Inc., the products used the following codes:

  • 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

Both batches were distributed in the U.S. through retail and online stores services, according to the company.

Click here for more information on how to identify the label, lot codes and UPC numbers from the FDA recall notice.

“The concern was identified upon testing conducted by a lab in Maryland,” BrandStorm Inc. stated Thursday. “An investigation was conducted by the packing site. The original heavy metal reports received for the crop year showed no presence of lead and-or cause for batch testing. After further investigation it was found that the products’ [country] of Origin is Lithuania and aggressive monitoring of heavy metals may be deemed necessary.”

The company added that “as an immediate action, the packing site is actively working to enhance food safety system by implementing mandatory batch testing for heavy metal.”

According to the Food and Drug Administration, lead in the environment may be “naturally occurring,” but is often present due to “past industrial uses that contributed to environmental contamination.”

“Most intentional uses of lead in products and processes are banned in the United States, including the use of lead solder to seal the external seams of metal cans,” the FDA states on its website. “However, lead does not disappear from the environment over time and therefore these past uses can combine with natural levels to contaminate our food supply.”

Exposure to larger amounts may cause lead poisoning, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Lead exposure is particularly harmful to children, the CDC states on its website.

“No safe blood lead level in children has been identified,” it says. “Even low levels of lead in blood have been shown to negatively affect a child’s intelligence, ability to pay attention, and academic achievement.”

To date, BrandStorm Inc. said it “has not received any reports of adverse events related to use of the product as part of this proactive recall.”

The company has urged consumers who purchased the two impacted Natierra Organic Freeze-Dried Blueberries to discard and not consume the product.

Refunds will be available to customers at the location of purchase, provided at the point of sale through validation of lot codes on the affected pouches.

For online purchases, BrandStorm Inc. stated that customers may email salesadmin@BrandStormInc.com to request a refund. Those with additional questions may call 310-559-0259 from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. PT and email salesadmin@BrandStormInc.com or send a direct message through the product website.

Consumers who experience any symptoms listed on the FDA recall should seek immediate medical advice from a physician.

“First and foremost, we remain focused on the health and welfare of our employees, customers, and partners,” BrandStorm said in Thursday’s recall announcement. “We are committed to taking the appropriate steps to ensure our network and services continue to operate seamlessly for our customers.”

Copyright © 2022, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

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