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Research by Consumer Reports shows that Lunchables contain a lot of lead



Research by Consumer Reports shows that Lunchables contain a lot of lead

An investigation by Consumer Reports has raised concerns about the safety of Lunchables, a popular prepackaged lunch product marketed to children. The investigation found that some Lunchables kits contained lead and other harmful contaminants, posing potential risks to children’s health. This comes amid broader concerns about lead contamination in children’s food products, including recent issues with lead in children’s cinnamon applesauce products.

Consumer Reports’ research found that Lunchables, along with similar lunch and snack packs from other brands, contained potentially high levels of lead, phthalates and sodium. Lead, a heavy metal, is particularly harmful because even small amounts can cause developmental problems in children and health problems in adults, such as high blood pressure and kidney damage. Furthermore, the risks associated with lead exposure are cumulative, highlighting the importance of minimizing exposure, especially in children.

The results were alarming. Amy Keating, a registered dietitian at Consumer Reports, expressed concern, noting that these kits are highly processed, with processed meat being a main ingredient, which has been linked to an increased risk of cancer. In addition, some kits showed potentially dangerous levels of heavy metals and phthalates (a type of chemical used in plastic products), which pose health risks if consumed regularly.

In response to their findings, Consumer Reports has taken proactive steps to address the problem, including petitioning the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) to remove Lunchables from school lunch programs.

Recent lead outbreak
An outbreak of lead poisoning traced to certain cinnamon applesauce products remains under investigation. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 519 cases have been reported in 44 states.

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) confirmed the elevated lead levels in the recalled applesauce, with FDA officials suspecting intentional contamination.

The FDA has initiated reviews and issued warnings regarding lead contamination in certain food products containing ground cinnamon, an ingredient commonly used in infant foods. Elevated lead levels were found in several ground cinnamon products, prompting voluntary recalls and highlighting the need for stricter regulation and oversight of food ingredients.

These incidents have raised concerns about the safety of other children’s food products.

Other Lunchables Issues

The Consumer Reports study found that Lunchables and similar products were also high in sodium, with sodium levels exceeding the recommended daily limits for children. Excessive sodium intake can lead to hypertension, a risk factor for heart disease and other health problems, especially in children who may develop long-term health problems due to high sodium consumption.

Experts have emphasized the importance of reducing children’s exposure to lead and other contaminants in food. Parents and caregivers are advised to be vigilant about the products they provide to children and look for alternatives that prioritize safety and nutritional value.

In response to the findings, Kraft Heinz, Lunchables’ parent company, emphasized compliance with safety standards and stated that lead can occur naturally in the environment. However, Consumer Reports emphasized the need for greater caution, especially given the potential long-term health consequences.

While Lunchables and similar products may offer convenience, the recent revelations underscore the need for greater oversight and regulation of infant food products to ensure they meet safety standards and protect children’s health. As food safety concerns continue to rise, consumers are urged to stay informed and advocate for stronger regulations to protect the well-being of children.

The full story from Consumer Reports may be found here.

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