Baby Food Heavy Metal: An FDA Update

Author Image Katie Thomson MS, RD | Cofounder

Baby Food Heavy Metal: FDA Update on Lead

Recently, FDA announced new industry standards for lead in processed foods intended for babies and children under two years of age.

In addition, the draft guidance, known as Action Levels for Lead in Food Intended for Babies and Young Children includes processed foods. For instance, food packaged in jars, pouches, tubs and boxes.

Baby sitting in high chair and eating from a spoon

The new guidelines for lead are as follows:

  • 10 parts per billion (ppb) for fruits, vegetables (excluding single-ingredient root vegetables), mixed meals (including grain and meat-based mixtures), yogurts, custards/pudding and single-ingredient meats.
  • 20 ppb for root vegetables (single ingredient like carrots, sweet potatoes).
  • 20 ppb for dry cereals.

However, these new action limits are not mandatory. Yet, the FDA may take various enforcement actions if they consider a food to be adulterated. And, the FDA may take enforcement action if it exceeds the new limits. Above all, this is a step in the right direction. However, more needs to be done to reduce exposure. And, it is up to the food manufacturers to lower the levels of heavy metals in their products.

Currently, there are no set industry standards for toxic heavy metals in cadmium and mercury.

Avocado oil, garlic, barley, white beans, and green beans

Our Commitment To You

Our commitment to our Square Baby Family has always been the same - to provide safe, healthy, and balanced food for your baby. Let us explain.

That includes working with trusted organic farms and suppliers. And,monitoring and testing for heavy metals in our finished meals. We stand by that promise and want to share our continued efforts and dedication to our families.

Read more to find out how we have minimized heavy metals in baby food.

As of March 2023, we've earned the Clean Label Project "Purity Award!" Earning the ultimate standard of certification is no easy feat.

And as of 2024, we are now testing every single batch of baby food moving forward. We're proud to share that every meal came in at <10ppb for the 4 major heavy metals -- arsenic, lead, cadmium, and mercury.

The Clean Label Project conducts rigorous, independent food tests for over 400 different contaminants including heavy metals, chemicals, plastics, pesticides and other toxins. Read more about our Purity Award on our blog and on CLP's website.

Founders of Square Baby - Katie Thomson and Kendall Glynn

Don’t hesitate to reach out with any questions by emailing us at or visiting

For support or FAQ, please visit us here.

~Katie and Kendall, cofounders

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