U.S – BrandStorm Inc. also known as Natierra, a pioneer in the superfoods movement, has issued a nationwide recall of its Natierra Organic Freeze-Dried Blueberry pouches suspected to contain lead levels above the allowable limits.
The packing site which was able to identify the non-conformance during routine testing has since launched an investigation.
Previous heavy metal reports received for the crop year showed no presence of lead and/or cause for batch testing. However, further investigation revealed that the product which originated from Lithuania may need aggressive monitoring of heavy metals.
As an immediate action, the packing site is actively working to enhance food safety system by implementing mandatory batch testing for heavy metal.
The recall is limited to two batches of Natierra Freeze-Dried Blueberries with Best By Dates of 12/2024 & 01/2025. The recalled products were distributed in the United States through retail and online stores services.
The impacted product is sold in white and blue pouch with Natierra brand and Logo. The product can be identified by checking the product name, manufacturer details and lot number on the bottom right of the pouch.
To date, BrandStorm Inc. has not received any reports of adverse events related to use of the product.
There is concern that consumers may have the product in their homes because of its long shelf life. The FDA has consequently urged consumers who purchased the recalled product to discard of it.
About lead contamination
Lead is a toxic substance present in the environment in small amounts and everyone is exposed to some lead from daily actions such as inhaling dust, eating food, or drinking water.
According to the FDA, people with high blood levels of lead may show no symptoms, but the condition may cause damage to the nervous system and internal organs.
Acute lead poisoning may cause a wide range of symptoms, including abdominal pain, muscle weakness, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, weight loss, and bloody or decreased urinary output. Children are particularly vulnerable to lead poisoning.
Symptoms can include abdominal pain, vomiting, lethargy, irritability, weakness, behavior or mood changes, delirium, seizures, and coma. However, infants, young children and the developing fetus can be affected by chronic exposure to amounts of lead that may not result in obvious symptoms of lead poisoning.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) highlights that exposure to even small amounts of lead can be harmful to children, particularly those younger than six, with younger kids more vulnerable than older kids and adults because their bodies are still developing and growing so rapidly.
Most kids exposed to lead don’t appear to be sick, yet exposure to the chemical can cause developmental and growth delays, hearing and speech troubles and serious injury and death, the CDC stated. Exposure can come during pregnancy or while being breastfed, the agency added.