Pesticide and lead continue to be found in food products

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Even fresh produce is not immune

It may be time to inspect your pantry. Food safety is a growing concern, for both fresh and manufactured food items.

Most recently, an independent lab reported that fresh, frozen and canned fruits and vegetables it analyzed contained higher than normal levels of pesticides. More than half of the samples were imported, mostly from Mexico.

Frozen strawberries were especially problematic. Scientists said because they grow so close to the ground, growers tend to use extra pesticides to ward off bugs.

Last week Gracie’s Kitchens, a Connecticut company recalled 20-ounce packages of "King Kullen Broccoli Cutlets with Bread Crumbs and Parmesan" because they may contain undeclared sesame and wheat. People who have allergies to sesame and wheat run the risk of serious or life-threatening allergic reaction if they consume these products.

The recalled "broccoli cutlets" were distributed only to King Kullen Grocery Stores located in Long Island, N.Y.

Also last week, Oregon Spice Company issued a recall for Johnny’s Parmesan Garlic Seasoning because it may contain undeclared sesame. People who have an allergy or severe sensitivity to sesame run the risk of serious or life-threatening allergic reaction if they consume this product.

The product was distributed in Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, North Dakota, Utah, Wyoming, and Alaska to Fred Meyer, QFC, Albertson’s and Safeway stores, as well as Amazon.com.

Lead contamination

This week the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) released an update on last fall’s lead contamination of children’s fruit pouches. The agency said it has transitioned from its initial response activities managed by FDA’s Coordinated Outbreak Response & Evaluation (CORE) Network, to contain the event so that no additional illnesses occurred and to identify the source of the issue. 

During its investigation, the agency received 90 confirmed complaints or reports of adverse events potentially linked to recalled product. There may be additional complaints since there is a lag between exposure to lead, the development of any noticeable symptoms of elevated blood levels.

Consumers can keep up with the latest recalls of food and other dangerous products here.

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