Recall of “Hello Kitty” Whistles Sold in Happy Meals – Choking and Aspiration Hazards

When you think about the dangers of fast food, you probably think of things like calories, fat grams, and salt. While those are certainly worthy of consideration, there can sometimes be a more immediate threat lurking in that steaming bag of chicken nuggets and French fries.

The Consumer Product Safety Commission recently issued a recall of some 2.3 million “Hello Kitty” whistles intended for sale to children at McDonald’s restaurants across the United States, plus another 200,000 in Canada. The Chinese-made whistles were sold during October 2014 and the first week of November 2014 in Happy Meals and Mighty Kids Meals.

According to the recall notice, the fast food giant has received two reports of children who coughed out pieces of a whistle that they had sucked into their mouths. One of the children required medical attention. Customers are advised to immediately take the whistles away from children and return them to any McDonald’s store. The company will issue a free replacement toy and either a yogurt tube or a bag of apple slices.

What the Whistles Look Like

The recalled whistles, which are red, came with a plastic “Hello Kitty” figure. They came as a set, but the whistle is detachable. The toys came in a bag that said “Hello Kitty® Birthday Lollipop” and had a number “6” in the upper right corner.

The Potential Danger

According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission, components inside the whistle can come loose. If this happens, there is a potential choking and aspiration hazard for young children. Fortunately, no deaths have yet been reported.

What the Company Has Said

The McDonald’s Corporation describes the recall as “voluntary” and insists that no other products in the current Hello Kitty and Max Steel promotions are affected by the recall of the whistle toy and that only whistles sold in the United States and Canada are involved in the recall. The company also says that the “vast majority” of the whistles that were manufactured for the promotion were not sent to restaurants and that 1.6 million of the whistles have been recovered.

The company also acknowledges that this is not its first product recall but says, “Given the billions of promotional items we’ve sold and distributed over the years, recalls represent a very small percentage.”

If You or a Loved One Has Been Hurt by a Dangerous Product

Unfortunately, these defective whistles are just a small portion of the many dangerous products that find their way into consumers’ hands every year. Sometimes these products are eventually recalled, but often they are not. If you believe that you or someone close to you has been the victim of a defective or improperly designed product, the Law Firm of John C. Manoog, III, is here to help. We serve clients throughout the Cape Cod area. Call us toll-free at (888) 262-6664 to schedule an appointment to discuss your case. We handle a wide variety of products liability cases, including those arising from defective assembly, improper construction, incorrect labeling, failure to warn, and poor design.

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