Kroger Recalls Baby Product After Finding Mold

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Kroger has issued a recall for its bottled baby water after discovering the product is tainted with mold. 

The recall was issued on Dec. 5 and affects Comforts For Baby Purified Water with Fluoride Added bottles with a sell-by date between April 26, 2018 and Oct. 10, 2018, according to CNN. 

After receiving customer complaints about the water, Kroger tested the product and found Taloromyces penicillium, a type of mold spore. The FDA warns the mold can cause a "hay fever-type" reaction in those with allergies. Even those without allergies can still be affected by the spores; inhaling or touching them "can irritate the eyes, skin, nose, throat, and lungs," the FDA said, according to CNN. 

The mold spores may pose a significant danger to infants with immune system disorders such as HIV. 

The water is sold in clear, 1-gallon containers, but the mold spores are invisible to the naked eye, meaning even water that looks clean may be contaminated. 

Kroger sought to downplay the dangers posed by the mold even as stores removed the water from their shelves. 

"While no health risk is associated with this product, out of an abundance of caution, we removed this product from sale several weeks ago," a spokesperson said, according to Fortune. "Customers who see discoloration in the product are welcome to return it to our stores for a refund." 

The FDA says all customers who purchased the water should return it, even if they think it looks fine. 

The water was sold at Kroger and some affiliated stores in 14 states, according to USA Today. Affiliated stores which sold the water include Food 4 Less, Jay C, Jay C Food Plus, Kroger Marketplace, Owen's, Payless Super Market and Ruler. The stores are located in Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Mississippi, Missouri, North Carolina, Ohio, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia and West Virginia. 

Hundreds of food products are recalled every year, according to Food Safety Magazine. In 2016, 764 food recalls were issued in the U.S. and Canada with the two biggest causes being undeclared allergens and Listeria contamination. Other leading causes for recalls were foreign matter contamination, Salmonella and E. coli. 

According to Food Safety Magazine, poor food production policies, lack of compliance with food safety regulations, poorly maintained facilities for food processing, and inadequate tracking of food products on their paths through supply chains are a few factors that contribute to the prevalence of food recalls.

Sources: CNN, Fortune, USA Today, Food Safety Magazine / Featured Image: ParentingPatch/Wikimedia Commons / Embedded Images: Mike Kalasnick/Flickr, ParentingPatch/Wikimedia Commons

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