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What practical measures should manufacturers take to reduce heavy metals in baby food?

No baby food manufacturer intentionally adds heavy metals to its products: arsenic, cadmium, lead, and mercury are naturally occurring. The crops absorb the heavy metals from soil and water, which is how they end up in baby food. Nevertheless, it is the company’s responsibility to ensure that the ingredients and the finished products have a safe heavy metal limit. 

Tackling the heavy metal problem is not as daunting as it might seem.

Company employees can considerably reduce the chances of arsenic, cadmium, lead, and mercury lurking in their baby food in dangerous concentrations by making sure the crops are grown with natural soil additives, sourcing cereals, fruits, and vegetables from low-arsenic fields, ensuring the farmers who grow the sourced crops alter irrigation practices, preparing the baby food in the facility with excess water to get rid of the extra arsenic, and blending high-arsenic grains, such as rice, with low-arsenic grains in multigrain products.

Testing baby food for heavy metals must become a critical practice

Testing baby food for heavy metals is very easy and cost-efficient today. It should become standard practice at the facility, which will ensure that companies will not allow products with high concentrations of heavy metals on the shelves.

While having a sample of baby food tested for arsenic, cadmium, lead, or mercury costs between $50 and $100, manufacturers will undoubtedly obtain a good deal with a reputable laboratory that will benefit both.

Additionally, every baby food facility that must comply with the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) must also implement Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point (HACCP) and set up preventive controls.