Dried blueberries 'urgently' recalled nationwide over lead concerns

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INDIANAPOLIS (WXIN) — The Food and Drug Administration has issued an urgent recall alert for dried blueberries after high levels of lead were detected.

The FDA said the recall announced by BrandStorm Inc. involves Natierra Organic Freeze-Dried Blueberries, which were sold in the United States through retail and online stores.

A lab in Maryland identified the concern after testing uncovered the presence or potential presence of lead over the FDA’s recommended limits.

The FDA said an investigation was conducted by the packing site, and the original heavy metal reports for the crop year showed no presence of lead.

“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 FDA stated. “As an immediate action the packing site is actively working to enhance food safety system by implementing mandatory batch testing for heavy metal.”

The FDA said the issue is isolated to two batches of blueberries with a Best By Date 12/2024 and 01/2025. The lot codes are as follows:

  • 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

The product is sold in white and blue pouches with Natierra brand and logo. They can be identified by checking the product name, manufacturer details and lot number on the bottom right of the pouch.

While BrandStorm has not received any reports of adverse effects related to the recall, the company is working to enhance the food safety system by implementing mandatory batch testing for heavy metals.

The FDA says lead occurs naturally and may be contracted in fruits and vegetables during cultivation.

“Lead is a toxic substance present in our environment in small amounts and everyone is exposed to some lead from daily actions such as inhaling dust, eating food, or drinking water,” the agency said.

However, exposure to larger amounts of the element can cause lead poisoning, with its effects dependent upon the amount and duration of exposure and the exposed person’s age.

Though people with high lead levels in their blood may show no symptoms, they could suffer damage to the nervous system and internal organs. Symptoms of acute lead poisoning may include abdominal pain, muscle weakness, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, weight loss, and bloody or decreased urinary output, according to the FDA, which added that children are particularly vulnerable.

“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,” the FDA said. “This can result in learning disorders, developmental defects, and other long-term health problems.”

Anyone with the recalled product should throw it out. Refunds are available at the location of purchase. Anyone who bought the product online can email [email protected] to request a refund.

Anyone with questions about the recall can call 310-559-0259, 8 am – 4:30 pm PST, email [email protected] or send a direct message using the www.Natierra.com website.

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