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China authorities seal Heinz baby cereal with high lead levels

Food safety authorities in east China's Zhejiang province have sealed 614 boxes of baby cereal products manufactured by US food giant H J Heinz after they were found to contain high levels of lead, Xinhua news agency reported.

HANGZHOU: Food safety authorities in east China's Zhejiang province have sealed 614 boxes of baby cereal products manufactured by US food giant H J Heinz after they were found to contain high levels of lead, Xinhua news agency reported.

Excessive levels of lead were found in 400g boxes of “AD Calcium Hi-Protein Cereal" during a regular food inspection in the province in the second quarter, said the Zhejiang Provincial Food and Drug Administration on Monday (Aug 18).

The products include 483 consignments from two companies in the provincial capital of Hangzhou and 131 from retailers.

Heinz issued an apology last Friday and said its own investigation showed materials in one batch of degreased soybean cereals used in the product contained varying levels of lead.

The company has started recalling products with batch numbers 20140413, 20140414, 20140508 and 20140509 as a preventative measure.

A total of 1,472 boxes of cereals with excessive lead content have been reported in Zhejiang. About 153 boxes were recalled from retailers by Aug 10 and sealed in the company's storehouse in Guangdong province's capital Guangzhou.