Depending on how it's used, social media can have a positive or negative impact on our day-to-day lives. Sometimes it alerts us to hidden dangers, and other times it's used to bully and intimidate, or spread false information. No matter how you feel about social media, it's not going away anytime soon.
Concerned customers who took the threat seriously began questioning the safety of their kitchen appliance and flooded calls to the manufacturer. So, was the KitchenAid mixer really recalled? Here's what we know.
Rumors of a KitchenAid mixer recall began on Facebook.
"KITCHEN AID RECALL - NOT A JOKE," read a post shared to Facebook in January 2023. "Anyone who has a KitchenAid Mixer with a white paddle and hook attachments. Stop using it immediately! It contains extreme amounts of lead!!"
The post, which was shared over 30,000 times in four days, caused many concerned customers to call Whirlpool, the parent company of KitchenAid, with calls and messages in an attempt to get more information.
The claims stating KitchenAid products were contaminated with lead stemmed from online and social media posts created by Tamara Rubin, who runs the Lead Safe Mama website. She says she conducted a lead test on the paddles and dough hooks sold with the KitchenAid stand mixers and found dangerous levels of lead in the substrate of the attachments, which is the layer beneath the coating.
She claimed one dough hook had lead levels of 2,434 parts per million (ppm) and then demanded a recall.
Was the KitchenAid Mixer recalled?
The Consumer Product Safety Commission, established to protect consumers from product hazards, didn't show any KitchenAid product recalls on its website. The product didn't appear on the FDA's recall page, nor did the Whirlpool Corporation have any active recalls for mixers on their product recall page.
The allegations prompted a swift response from KitchenAid to address safety standards on stand mixers and lead, stating that the lead levels in their product comply with FDA standards.
Company spokesperson Chad Parks stated: "Aluminum alloy can contain small levels of impurities, and for that reason all current models of aluminum accessories have a food-safe coating that is tested both for lead content and lead migration to ensure it is safe.
Plus, as you can see above, that January Facebook post has a "false information" banner.
Additionally, fact-checking site Snopes declared in January that the KitchenAid recall rumor was false. "From everything we could gather, no current recalls, recent recalls, or quality initiatives existed for the product," Snopes wrote.
So, was the KitchenAid Mixer recalled? Nope. This rumor is officially debunked.
Is lead safe?
While health experts say there is no safe level of lead, most people are exposed to small amounts daily through food, water, and lead-based pain in older homes. The FDA doesn't require kitchen utensils to be 100 percent lead-free but does limit the trace amount of lead in some utensils.
It's the manufacturer's responsibility to minimize or prevent harmful levels of lead to be present in products.