Blueberries Recalled Nationwide Over Lead Concerns

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDS) is alerting customers to an "urgent" nationwide blueberry recall. The organization announced in a July 14 notice that certain pouches of Natierra Organic Freeze-Dried Blueberrie are being recalled due to possible lead contamination. The recall was voluntarily issued by BrandStorm Inc.

The recall involves two lots of blueberries, both of which were packaged in 1.2-ounce pack sizes and distributed in the United States through retail and online stores services. Recalled Lot 2021363-1 features a best-by date of "12/2024" and UPC 812907011160. The second recalled lot number is 2022026-1, with a best-by date of "01/2025" and UPC 812907011160. The recalled Natierra Organic Freeze-Dried Blueberries were sold in a white and blue pouch with Natierra brand and Logo, with an image available here.

The company issued the recall after testing conducted by a lab in Maryland identified the presence or potential presence of lead above the FDA's recommended limits. Per the release, "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 county of Origin is Lithuania and aggressive monitoring of heavy metals may be deemed necessary." Although lead, a toxic substance, is constantly present in small amounts and people are exposed to it daily, exposure to large amounts can lead to lead positing. According to the Mayo Clinic, signs and symptoms of lead poisoning include joint and muscle pain, headache, abdominal pain, and mood disorders, among others. However, symptoms typically don't appear until dangerous amounts have accumulated. Infants, young children, and a developing fetus can experience more severe symptoms.

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At this time, no reports of adverse reactions have been reported in connection to the recalled blueberries. However, due to the risk lead poses, consumers are advised not to eat the recalled blueberries, which should instead be discarded. Refunds are available at the location of purchase. Amid the recall, "the packing site is actively working to enhance food safety system by implementing mandatory batch testing for heavy metal." BrandStorm Inc. said in a statement, "first and foremost, we remain focused on the health and welfare of our employees, customers, and partners. We are committed to taking the appropriate steps to ensure our network and services continue to operate seamlessly for our customers."