Heads Up: Don't Feed Your Baby Arsenic

There’s been a recall of Beech-Nut Rice baby cereal.

If you feed your children Beech-Nut baby cereal, check what you have in the pantry, because Beech-Nut Stage 1 Single Grain Rice Cereal has recently tested above the guidance level for naturally occurring inorganic arsenic during a routine sampling program by the state of Alaska. This news is directly from the FDA.

The rice flour used in the cereal was previously tested and confirmed as being within the FDA guidance level, but the arsenic levels in final product tested too high. Trace amounts of elements such as arsenic are naturally occurring in water, food, and soil, but elevated amounts of naturally occurring arsenic can pose a health issue for your little ones.

"The safety of infants and children is Beech-Nut's top priority," said Jason Jacobs, Beech-Nut's vice president of food safety and quality, said in a press release issued by the FDA. "We are issuing this voluntary recall, because we learned through routine sampling by the State of Alaska that a limited quantity of Beech-Nut Single Grain Rice Cereal products had levels of naturally-occurring inorganic arsenic above the FDA guidance level, even though the rice flour used to produce these products tested below the FDA guidance level for inorganic arsenic,"

The UPC code on the product is #52200034705 and has an expiration date of May 1, 2022. The product codes are 103470XXXX and 093470XXXX. You can find this information on the bottom of the Beech-Nut Single Rice Cereal canister. The products were distributed nationally online and through retail stores. No incidents related to the affected product have been reported at this time, and all other Beech-Nut products are unaffected.

In very related news, Beech-Nut has also decided to discontinue the product and exit the rice cereal market altogether. The company is concerned about its ability to source rice flour that consistently meets FDA guidance and its own specifications for naturally occurring inorganic arsenic levels. So if you see the product disappear from store shelves, this is why.