Lunch boxes lined with freezer gel packs containing diethylene glycol recalled in California


California Innovations Inc. and the Consumer Product Safety Commission are recalling thousands of lunch boxes that are lined with freezer gel packs containing diethylene glycol. These lunch boxes, imported from China, were sold at Walmart August 2008 to December 2011 for about $22. Diethylene glycol is a poisonous liquid that actually has a sweetish taste, making it enticing to children. Ingesting this compound can lead to side effects such as vomiting, nausea, abdominal pain and diarrhea. It can also result in kidney failure, quadriplegia, coma and ultimately death. No incidents have been reported.

The recalled product is a four-piece food carrier set, which includes a light blue thermal carrier with black carrying handles, a medium plastic food container, a large plastic food container and a freezer gel pack. The recalled thermal carrier has the code “1-38018-69-07” printed on a white label on the inside of the main compartment on the left hand side.

The thermal carrier is 18 inches wide, 10.5 inches deep and 4.7 inches high and made of vinyl and polyester. The medium food container measures 9.75 inches by 6.25 inches by 3.5 inches. The large food container measures 11.75 inches by 8.75 inches by 3.5 inches. The gel pack is an 8.5-inch by 8-inch, opaque blue plastic pouch filled with liquid gel.

The words “Cryofreeze” and “Ice Pack/Hot Pack” are printed in white letters on the front of the pouch.

Consumers should immediately stop using the gel packs and dispose of them according to federal, state and/or local regulations. It is recommended that consumers contact their local waste disposal authority for instructions. Consumers may return the gel pack to Walmart for a refund of $6 or contact California Innovations customer service at (800) 722-2545 for the same refund.

For additional information, call California Innovations at (800) 722-2545 between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. ET Monday-Friday or visit the firm’s website at

Source: Consumer Product Safety Commission, UCSD Health Sciences