Bumble Bee Is Recalling This Canned Food Over 'Forever Chemicals' Discovery

If you're a fan of smoked clams, listen up. Canned fish giant Bumble Bee Foods just issued a voluntary recall of its 3.75-ounce smoked clams. The recall comes on the heels of a routine Food and Drug Administration (FDA) test that revealed detectable levels of PFAS chemicals in a specific SKU of smoked clams (via FDA).

According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, PFAS chemicals (per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances) are widely used to manufacture products that are stain-resistant, waterproof, greaseproof, and nonstick. Clean Water Action lists everything from pizza boxes, microwave popcorn, bags, and make-up to umbrellas, artificial turf, and firefighting gear as sources of PFAS contamination. PFAS chemicals are problematic because they break down slowly, over the course of thousands of years, a consideration that earned the man-made compounds the moniker "forever chemicals."

Because they have such a long shelf life, the chemicals commonly leach into water, air, and soil. In fact, according to the EPA, PFAS are routinely found in animal and human blood samples around the world.

While the EPA cites scientific tests potentially connecting PFAS exposure with harmful effects on people, the agency says the chemicals are so widely used, that it's difficult to pinpoint a direct link between PFAS consumption and specific conditions. The FDA, however, references studies linking PFAS exposure to high cholesterol, high blood pressure, compromised immune response, and some cancers.

Everything you need to know

As for the Bumble Bee recall — the smoked clam recall is a voluntary action. Bumble Bee Foods issued the recall as a precautionary measure (via FDA). The recall affects only Bumble Bee Smoked Clams bearing UPC label 8660075234. The recalled product, distributed nationally, was produced by a third-party manufacturer in China. Bumble Bee is in contact with the third-party manufacturer to determine the source of PFAS chemicals and how they entered the manufacturing process.

Bumble Bee Foods advises consumers who believe they may have eaten the recalled product to contact their physician if they are not feeling well. To date, there have been no reported cases of illness associated with the consumption of the recalled smoked clams.

To determine if you have smoked clams affected by the recall, check the UPC label located under the barcode on the back of the can. If the number matches the recalled SKU, discard the product immediately. For reimbursement, call Bumble Bee Consumer Affairs at 1-888-295-3627 Monday through Friday between 9 a.m. and 6 p.m. EST or visit Bumble Bee Foods' designated clam recall page.