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Huge amounts of lead found in more than a dozen Kroger foods

This chart shows how much lead is in each of the named Kroger foods.

Lead Dangers In Kroger Foods

This chart shows all of the products tested and their lead levels.

Kroger Products Tested

The foods are sold under Kroger, Simple Truth and Private Selection labels

Kroger has not lived up to its end of the deal with consumers by ensuring that it is selling non-toxic foods.”
— Attorney Vineet Dubey
LOS ANGELES, UNITED STATES, March 8, 2022 / -- American consumers are being exposed to dangerous levels of lead discovered in more than a dozen foods sold by Kroger-owned stores.

The most alarming level of lead was present in Kroger’s Spinach With Bacon Salad Kit For One. An independent food testing lab determined that the modest portion – weighing less than five ounces — contains more than 140 times California’s maximum limit of lead allowed for adult consumption in a single day.

The little salad contained 70.1 micrograms of lead. California’s daily maximum exposure level is .5 micrograms. For comparison, the FDA limits the amount of lead in a liter of bottled water also to .5 micrograms. No amount of lead is considered safe to consume.

All 15 foods that were tested are sold throughout the country under the company’s Kroger, Simple Truth and Private Selection labels.

Products containing heavy amounts of lead per serving also included:

• Kroger Single Serving Canned Sweet Peas & Carrots, with more than 66 times (at 33.1 micrograms per serving) the amount of allowable lead;
• Simple Truth Organic Yellow Cling Diced Peaches & Pears, with more than 22 times (at 11.7 micrograms per serving) the amount of allowable lead;
• Kroger Crumbdillyicious Graham Crackers, also at more than 22 times (at 11.2 micrograms per serving) the amount of allowable lead;
• Simple Truth Organic Frozen Berry Medley, with more than 16 times (at 8.34 micrograms per serving) the amount of allowable lead;
• Kroger Cinnamon Raisin Pre-Sliced Bagels, with more than 13 times (at 6.82 micrograms per serving) the amount of allowable lead; and
• Simple Truth Organic 100% Whole Wheat Spaghetti, also with more than 13 times (at 6.77 micrograms per serving) the amount of allowable lead.

Other products with high lead exposure risk per serving were Simple Truth Organic Raisin Bran, Simple Truth Organic Cinnamon Breakfast Cookies, Private Selection Frozen Whole Strawberries, Kroger Canned Diced Jalapeno Peppers, Kroger Canned Sliced Beets, Kroger Frozen Italian Style Green Beans, Kroger Cinnapuff Breakfast Cereal and Kroger Strawberry Applesauce.

A lawsuit filed today in Los Angeles Superior Court seeks to eliminate the sale of these products in California. Under California consumer protection law, Kroger could also reduce the lead content or simply add a prominent health warning to the packaging.

"Kroger is betraying the American public by selling over a dozen products tainted with extraordinarily high amounts of lead,” said Vineet Dubey, the Los Angeles environmental attorney who filed the lawsuit.

“Every day, people walk into Kroger supermarkets to spend their hard-earned money, expecting to be able to purchase healthy, safe foods for their families,” Dubey said. “Unfortunately, Kroger has not lived up to its end of the deal with consumers by ensuring that it is selling non-toxic foods. It should immediately remove these items from its shelves and put into place new quality controls so that Americans are never poisoned by lead from another Kroger food item."

Lead is a heavy metal that builds up in the human body over years, resulting in lead poisoning. Lead poisoning in adults can result in miscarriage, male infertility, hypertension and neurological problems such as mood disorders, memory loss, tremors and hallucinations. In children, high or sustained lead levels affect their brains and nervous systems in a way that can stunt development, lower their IQ, reduce their ability to learn and manifest as behavior problems. It can also cause hearing and speech problems.

Cincinnati-based Kroger is the U.S.’s largest supermarket chain by revenue and the second-largest general retailer behind Walmart. In 2020, Kroger's retail sales topped $131 billion.

It operates a total of 2,922 grocery retail stores under its own name as well as under various regional banners, with the largest store concentrations in California, Ohio, Texas, North Carolina and the Pacific Northwest. Its chains include Harris Teeter, Ralphs, Smith’s Food and Drug, Fred Meyer, QFC, King Soopers, Mariano’s, and more.

The lawsuit was filed at Stanley Mosk Courthouse in Los Angeles; Ecological Alliance LLC v. The Kroger Co., 22STCV08065 (L.A. Sup. Court, filed March 7, 2022)

Vineet Dubey is a co-founding partner of Los Angeles-based Custodio & Dubey LLP. He has dedicated his law career to pursuing environmental litigation, primarily suing companies that are selling goods to the public containing toxic and cancer-causing chemicals.

Robert Frank
Newsroom Public Relations