Quality & Safety FAQs
What is Gerber®’s stance on the Congressional proposal on heavy metals?
Our safety and quality standards are among the strictest in not just the U.S., but in the world. You can trust that when it comes to baby, we will always do the right thing – including following all regulations and laws. Gerber® baby foods are absolutely safe and healthy for baby and comply with all FDA requirements.
Gerber® has a history of working with the FDA, USDA and government leaders on matters of infant nutrition. We are reviewing the specific legislation and we look forward to taking a leading role to further efforts to make the food supply even safer for infants and toddlers. We believe in strong food standards for babies and will always support efforts to make foods even safer for little ones. The FDA recently issued reassuring advice to parents on metals in baby foods. You can read the FDA’s advice here.
How safe are Gerber® baby foods?
100% of our foods meet all FDA requirements for our products and our own strict standards. We developed these standards based on the very latest health and safety guidance from organizations like the Food and Drug Administration, Environmental Protection Agency, the European Food Safety Authority and the World Health Organization. In fact, we have among the strictest standards in the world. Nutrition experts recommend feeding a variety of nutrient dense foods like fruit, vegetables and whole grains starting around 6 months of age. This is the best way to lower risk of heavy metals in your baby’s diet.
How does Gerber® check and test for safety?
Gerber® foods must pass more than 100 individual quality checks before they can be sold. These checks occur at 5 different stages – from growing through cooking and jarring. On top of that, Gerber® follows an annual testing plan featuring regular safety tests of finished products. This well-established approach can give parents an extra boost of confidence.
What is the truth about heavy metals in foods?
Heavy metals are naturally found in soil and water. Fruits, vegetables, and grains can absorb these elements from soil and water as they grow. This is true whether you grow foods in your own garden, buy organic at a farmer’s market, or buy packaged foods at the grocery store. Gerber® farmers reduce the presence of these naturally found elements by: using best in class practices like soil testing, rotating crops, and choosing peak harvest times. This ensures crops are safe, tasty, and nutritious. Recent media reports may create the false impression that Gerber® intentionally adds contaminants to our foods. This is simply not true.
Is it safer to make my own baby food?
No. According to the FDA, “For parents who choose to make their own baby foods, it is important to know that this is not likely to reduce potential exposure to toxic elements in baby foods and may instead result in higher concentrations.” The FDA explained food makers have the capability to implement strategies that result in using ingredients with lower concentrations of toxic elements.” You can read the FDA’s full advice here.
At Gerber®, our farmers are using best in class practices to ensure quality ingredients and minimize the presence of any unwanted heavy metals.
Why should I trust Gerber®?
For more than 90 years, baby food has been our only business. We’ve safely fed Gerber® baby foods to millions of babies, including our own. Founded by a mom with sky-high standards like yours, we’ve always promised to never settle for anything less than the most nutritious and safe food for your baby. Our success depends on your trust in us to nourish your little one, because the truth is you would do anything for your baby, and so would we.
I saw video that showed a magnet pulling metals out of infant cereal. Are these the metals in the report?
We have seen the video, and it actually shows the nutrient iron. Iron is not a heavy metal. It is an essential nutrient that plays an important role in brain development.
Iron fortified infant cereal is perfectly safe and an important source of iron and many other nutrients in baby's diet. Having enough iron in baby's diet is important for healthy brain development and learning, which is why we add it to our cereals. We fortify some varieties of our cereals with electrolytic iron to help meet your baby's daily iron needs. The US Dietary Guidelines for Americans recently said infant cereal is a food that can help meet baby's dietary need for iron. You can learn more here.
Should I stop feeding my baby certain foods like rice cereal, carrots and sweet potatoes?
No, there is no need to eliminate certain foods from your child’s diet. The FDA has explained that eliminating food groups from your child’s diet to avoid metals in the food supply may result in certain nutrient deficiencies and potential poor health and nutrition outcomes. Instead, it is important to focus on serving a variety of fruits, vegetables and grains to little ones. This helps to ensure children are getting the nutrients from each food group, while minimizing heavy metals from any one food. Read more about the FDA’s advice here.
If you have questions about your baby’s health and diet, we recommend speaking with your child’s doctor. We offer a variety of iron fortified cereals to help baby grow and get all the minerals they need to thrive.