Focus Products Group International, which owns the West Bend brand name, is recalling several hot cocoa drink makers today. According to the Food and Drug Administration, the small appliances have internal parts that may leach heavy metal lead while making hot cocoa.
Although there have been no reported illnesses or deaths tied to the recall, safety experts warn that the lead-leaching can be dangerous—especially to young children. Exposure to heavy metals, such as lead and cadmium, may bring irreversible health effects such as anemia, kidney damage, and brain damage.
In May, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention had lowered the allowable blood lead-levels for children, due to concerns that their developing bodies can more-readily absorb and retain toxic heavy metals.
Today's recall involves the following Cocoa Latte Hot Drink Maker models, sold nationwide at retailers such as Bed, Bath & Beyond and Amazon.com from 2004 through October 12, 2012:
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Consumers are urged to immediately stop using the recalled Cocoa Latte Hot Drink Maker and contact Focus Products' Call Center (toll-free: 888-943-5202) for instructions to obtain a free replacement hot cocoa maker.
Focus Products Group International, LLC Announces a Nationwide Recall of Cocoa Latte Hot Drink Maker [FDA]
Nationwide Recall of Cocoa Latte Hot Drink Makers Due to Possible Lead Risk [Focus Products Group International]
Product recall information [West Bend]