About 42 percent of Americans visit Walmart in person or online at least once a week, many of whom are buying groceries, the retailer reports. And if you’re one of them, and you’ve already done your shopping at Walmart this week, there’s a new recall announced by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) that you need to know about. One food product that was distributed nationally to Walmart stores and sold via its website is being recalled because of its levels of arsenic. To find out if you bought the recalled item in your Walmart haul recently, and what to do if so, read on.
A recall has been issued for certain batches of Parent’s Choice Rice Baby Cereal, sold exclusively at Walmart.
Maple Island Inc., the makers of Walmart’s Parent’s Choice Rice Baby Cereal, is voluntarily recalling certain batches of the product, the company says in a notice posted on the FDA website on Oct. 8.
Three lots of the 8-oz. packages of Parent’s Choice Rice Baby Cereal are affected by the recall. To see if yours in one of them, check out the best-if-used-by date, lot code, and UPC numbers in the bottom lefthand corner on the back of the package.
- Lot 21083 with UPC number 00681131082907 with a best-if-used-by date of Jun. 24, 2022
- Lot 21084 with UPC number 00681131082907 with a best-if-used-by date of Jun. 25, 2022
- Lot 21242 with UPC number 00681131082907 with a best-if-used-by date of Nov. 30, 2022
All recalled cereal products were sold after Apr. 5, according to Maple Island Inc.
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The recall was issued after the products “tested above the guidance for naturally occurring inorganic arsenic.”
The FDA conducts routine sampling of products and in doing so with Parent’s Choice Rice Baby Cereal, they found that a sample from three lots “tested above the guidance for naturally occurring inorganic arsenic,” the recall notice reads.
Because arsenic is a naturally occurring toxin, absorbed by food through soil, water, or air, it is not possible to “remove arsenic entirely from the environment or food supply,” the FDA says on its website. Still, the agency explains that it tests for arsenic in certain foods, dietary supplements, and cosmetics “because it can cause serious and life-threatening health problems” at high levels.
Specifically, the FDA “prioritizes monitoring inorganic arsenic levels in foods more likely to be eaten by infants and toddlers” because they eat more food relative to their weight than adults do and because they often eat the same products regularly, potentially increasing exposure. Additionally, the FDA places “a high priority on monitoring levels of arsenic in rice and rice products.” That’s because rice plants absorb arsenic more easily than others and because rice is so highly consumed. “Because of the plant itself and its popularity, it is a leading food source of inorganic arsenic,” the agency explains.
Luckily, no illnesses related to the Parent’s Choice Rice Baby Cereal in question have been reported as of the recall date, and Maple Island Inc. says they are “issuing this recall out of an abundance of caution.” No other batches of the cereal and no other Parent’s Choice products are affected by the recall, according to the notice.
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Walmart has pulled the baby rice cereal from all of its stores and from its website, while customers are urged to throw it away.
According to the recall notice, “Walmart was advised [of the recall] and has pulled the product from its store shelves and put a register block on the product at its stores and online to prevent any further sales.”
Best Life can confirm that when you search for the baby cereal affected by the recall on the Walmart website, you’re redirected to a page that says, “This page couldn’t be found. Sorry about that!”
The recall announcement says that customers who have purchased the cereal “should discard the product or return it to Walmart for a full refund.”
If you have further questions, you can call Maple Island Inc., Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. CT at 1-800-369-1022 or contact the company by email at [email protected]
This is the second food recall that’s affected Walmart shoppers this week.
The day before the baby cereal recall came to light, another product sold at Walmart was also pulled. On Oct. 7, the FDA announced that Simple Mills was voluntarily recalling certain batches of its Fine Ground Sea Salt Almond Flour Crackers because the brand’s Farmhouse Cheddar Almond Flour Crackers may have been placed inside the boxes by mistake. That means the 4.25-oz. boxes of crackers in question may contain milk due to the cheddar, a common allergen that’s not listed as an ingredient for the salted crackers. “Some people who have an extreme allergy or severe sensitivity to milk could run the risk of a serious or life-threatening allergic reaction if they consume this product,” the recall notice states.
The crackers were sold at major retailers, including Walmart, Target, Hannaford, Kroger, Publix, Stop & Shop, and Harris Teeter. According to Walmart’s list posted to its website, potentially 4,500 stores could be carrying the recalled crackers.
To see if you have a box of the recalled crackers, which were sold in a three-pack or six-pack, they can be identified by UPC number 856069005131, which is printed on the bottom of the box. The boxes also have best-by dates of either 02/12/2022, 02/13/2022, 02/14/2022, or 02/15/2022 printed on the top of the box.
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