No takers yet on Burger King’s Pokemon recall
Not one Carson resident had taken Burger King up by mid-day Tuesday on its offer to trade free French fries for its recalled Pokemon balls.
The fast food giant announced the voluntary recall Monday after a 13-month-old California girl suffocated when half of a Pokemon ball covered her mouth and nose.
Millions of the balls, 2.75 inches to 3 inches in diameter with two halves that can be pulled apart, were given away as containers for Pokemon toys and cards in Burger King children’s meals. Burger King spokesman Charles Nicolas told the Associated Press that 25 million balls are included in the recall.
Tuesday, a Burger King manager on College Parkway who did not want to be identified said several people have called about the balls but no one was going to bring them back.
“We told them that a little girl had suffocated and they said, ‘Well, her parents should have been supervising her better,’ ” the manager said.
Kim Miller, a spokeswoman at Burger King’s headquarters in Miami, said Tuesday afternoon it was too soon to know how many of the “Poke balls” will be returned.
“We’ve had lots of calls from parents and they are telling us, ‘Thanks for the warning; now we’ll decide how we will handle it,'” Miller said. “One mother said it was no different than having to separate toys for a 2-year-old and a 6-year-old.”
She said the free French fry offer will remain in effect until March 15, so people have plenty of time to exchange the balls. Posters should be in all Burger kings by today, she said, when a full-page ad about the recall was also to appear in USA Today.
The local manager said the company had the Burger King crews remove the toys from the balls and just put the toys directly in the children’s meal bags.
“The customers still get the toys, just not the balls. When those are gone, we’re going to the (toy) cars,” the manager said.
The recall follows the Dec. 11 death of the girl in Sonora, Calif. Burger King also reported a second incident where an 18-month-old girl reportedly had half a ball stuck over her face, but her father pulled it free.
Burger King is warning that the balls may pose a suffocation hazard. The ball’s design and the toys it contained both passed all Consumer Product Safety Commission requirement and all international safety standards, the company said earlier. Packaging described them as safety tested and recommended for children of all ages.
“They’ve passed all choke tests,” Nicolas said. “What’s at issue is when the ball covers both the mouth and nose.”
It was the first time any toy in a Burger King child’s meal has been blamed for a death, the company said.
In a statement Monday, Burger King said consumers should take both halves of the balls away from children under the age of 3. The balls should be discarded or returned to a Burger King restaurant for a free small order of fries. Consumers may continue to use the Pokemon toys that come inside the balls, the statement said.