BURGER KING recalls 2.6 million toys for toddlers because of choking hazard

Tuesday, July 31st 2001, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

WASHINGTON (AP) _ Burger King is recalling about 2.6 million ``Hourglass Space Sprout'' and ``Look for Me Bumblebee'' toddler toys because they can break open, releasing small beads that children can choke on.

The toys were distributed in Burger King Kids Meals for children younger than 3, the Consumer Product Safety Commission said Tuesday.

Miami-based Burger King has received 18 reports of the toys breaking and six reports of children placing the beads in their mouths.

``There were no injuries involved, but when we heard about the potential for issues we wanted to withdraw them,'' said Burger King spokesman Rob Doughty. ``Safety is a top priority.''

Last month, Burger King began replacing the netting that encloses playgrounds at about 650 of its restaurants across the country following the death of a 4-year-old boy who became entangled.

The company recalled 400,000 ``Rattling, Paddling Riverboat'' toys in March, because children could choke on a pin that holds the boat's paddlewheel in place. In 1999, Burger King recalled toy Pokemon balls. The balls were linked to the suffocation deaths of two children, ages 13 months and 4 months.

The ``Hourglass Space Sprout'' has a green, smiling head; a clear hourglass, filled with beads; and two red balls with yellow spots as arms.

The ``Look for Me Bumblebee'' has a purple base with a green leaf, a yellow head, and three rings that fit over the head.

When the recalled toys are shaken the beads inside make a rattle sound.

On the back of the toys are the words, ``Sassy,'' ``Burger King,'' and ``Made in China.'' The packaging says, ``Toddler Toys For Kids Under Three Years Old.''

Burger King restaurants nationwide distributed the toys inside Kids Meals from January 2001 through July 2001.

The safety commission advises parents to take the toys away from children and call 1-800-661-9173 for instructions on returning the toy for a free replacement.

Problems with the safety of fast-food toy promotions have affected other fast-food companies, and about 30 million of the free toys have been taken off the market in less than two years.

In March, McDonald's voluntarily recalled about 234,000 toys that came with the restaurant chain's Happy Meals after learning three children had choked or gagged on the ``Scooter Bug'' antenna, which is prone to breaking off.