There’s been a surge in health scares this October, with warnings issued for baby powder, Zantac, and frozen sausage patties

A container of Johnson's baby powder.

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A container of Johnson’s baby powder.
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Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

  • Products we regularly use and consume are sometimes recalled over safety concerns.
  • On October 18 alone, baby powder, Zantac, and frozen sausage patties sold at Walmart were all recalled.
  • The US Consumer Product Safety Commission keeps an updated recall list, and the US Food & Drug Administration (FDA) has its own recall list.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

Products we regularly use or consume are sometimes recalled over safety concerns – like having ingredients that can make us sick or components that can hurt us.

Time highlighted a Public Interest Research Group (PIRG) report released in January 2019 which found that food recalls increased by 10% between 2013 and 2018. The US Food & Drug Administration (FDA) keeps an updated recall list, and the US Consumer Product Safety Commission keeps a list as well.

On October 18 alone, baby powder, Zantac, and frozen sausage patties sold at Walmart were all recalled.

Here’s a roundup of recent food, drug, and consumer products that received recalls or warnings in the US.

Aria Bendix contributed to this report.


Sausage patties

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Eppersimons/Shutterstock

Why: Salmonella

Sold by: Walmart

The details: George’s Prepared Foods, maker of Walmart’s Great Value meat products, recalled 6,444 pounds of turkey and pork sausage patties that Walmart sells fully cooked and frozen, which was identified as being possibly contaminated with salmonella. The bacteria can infect humans and cause them to get ill with fevers, cramps, and diarrhea. If a salmonella infection spreads beyond the intestines and into the bloodstream, it could lead to death.

The US Department of Agriculture announced the recall of three products (Great Value Fully Cooked Original Pork Sausage Patties, Great Value Fully Cooked Original Breakfast Turkey Patties, and Family Size Great Value Fully Cooked Original Pork Sausage Patties) on October 18.

Source: CNN, USDA, Business Insider


Baby powder

A container of Johnson's baby powder.

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Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

Why: Asbestos

Sold by: Johnson & Johnson

The details: An FDA test found trace levels of asbestos in one bottle of baby powder sold by an online retailer. Asbestos, a mineral made up of thin crystals, is dangerous to inhale as it’s considered a carcinogenic. Johnson & Johnson announced its voluntary recall of one lot of Baby Powder in response on October 18.

Source: Business Insider, Jonson & Johnson, Business Insider

Read more: 26 of the most epic product fails in American history


Zantac

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Brendan McDermid/Reuters

Why: N-nitrosodimethylamine, or NDMA (a possible carcinogen)

Sold by: Sanofi, at drugstores in the US and Canada

The details: Drugmaker Sanofi announced on October 18 that it would be voluntarily recalling its over-the-counter heartburn medication Zantac (ranitidine) in drug stores in the US and Canada following an FDA discovery in September that the medication could contain low levels of NDMA, a “probable human carcinogen.”

Source: Business Insider, FDA


Expired Amazon items

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Giulia Forsythe/Flickr/CC 2.0 Attribution

Why: Expired foods

Sold by: Amazon

The details: A CNBC report in October dug up Amazon customer reviews detailing food products sold to them that were already expired. Products included: Doritos, baby food, beef jerky, coffee creamer, Goldfish crackers, and miniature Tabasco hot sauce. This issue is ongoing; because these products are only expired, not independently unsafe, a recall would not be necessary.

Sources: CNBC, Business Insider


Bottled water

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Erin Clark/Getty Images

Why: PFAS (“forever chemicals” associated with cancer, developmental issues, and liver damage)

Sold by: Stores in Massachussetts in summer 2019, including: 365 Spring Water at Whole Foods and Ice Canyon Spring water at CVS.

The details: A Massachusetts Department of Public Health advisory in July warned New England residents about bottled water sourced from Spring Hill Farm Dairy in Haverhill, Massachussetts. The distributor – a fourth-generation, family-owned business – first agreed to implement an improved filtration system, but ultimately closed in August.

Source: Business Insider, Massachussetts Department of Public Health

Read more: The 29 best US cities to be a freelancer


Baby food

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ElRoi/Shutterstock

Why: Toxic heavy metals

The details: While this is not a recall of a single food product, it is a call to caregivers to consider what they are feeding their infants. A study by the Healthy Babies Bright Futures alliance found that 95% of tested baby foods contain neurotoxins like arsenic, lead, cadmium, and mercury – all of which negatively affect development. The study points to rice-based snacks, juice, and sweet potatoes as having particularly high levels of these neurotoxins.

The study was not limited to prepared baby food – it simply tested food items, meaning adults also consume these products regularly. However, the study points out that babies are more sensitive to these neurotoxins, and therefore special attention should be paid.

Source: Healthy Babies Bright Futures, Business Insider, CNN