The Scary Contaminant Allegedly Found In This Kroger Salad Kit

Kroger may be having a rocky year. Despite earning high profits during the pandemic, the grocery behemoth's shares dropped by 9.1% in September of 2021 (via Reuters). According to Supermarket News, the chain also faced controversy for closing several stores in Califonia and Seattle, laying off hundreds of employees who were looking forward to earning an extra chunk of cash from hazard pay (or "hero pay") mandates that were passed in those cities. Many Kroger employees viewed the closures as a greedy way for the grocer to avoid paying them higher wages, and the move prompted two California councilmembers to consider investigating the company's actions, per NBC Los Angeles.

Now, an environmental nonprofit is suing Kroger for another issue: Wn unsafe ingredient was allegedly found in its Spinach With Bacon Salad Kit for One. Insider reports that an independent lab study tested 15 Kroger products, and the amount of lead in the salad kit was off the charts. The product purportedly contains more than five times the volume permitted by The Food and Drug Administration, according to the lawsuit.

The salad allegedly contains over 70 micrograms of lead

Per Insider, the FDA says that "lead intake from food [shouldn't] exceed three micrograms per day for children, or 12.5 micrograms for adults." The lawsuit filed against Kroger claims the lead in its bacon-specked spinach salad tested in an independent study clocked in at a troubling 70.1 micrograms, which is a dangerous amount for both children and adults. The lawsuit also alleges that 14 other Kroger products also contain unsafe amounts of lead, including its single-serving canned sweet potatoes and carrots. 

Why is this such a big deal? According to the CDC, heavy metals like lead may stunt brain and growth development in children, which could lead to speech, behavioral, and hearing issues later in life. For adults, lead exposure may cause fertility issues. If the lawsuit is successful, Insider reports that Kroger will have to cease sales of the lead-contaminated products in California or reduce their lead content and add a health warning.