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Recall of blue gel freezer packs greatly expanded due to risk of poisoning of people and pets

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A January recall of gel style ice/hot packs used to keep food hot or cold has been expanded to include 880,000 units in various sizes because the gel could be toxic to humans and pets.

California Innovations Inc. is recalling Cryofreeze Ice/Hot Packs and Arctic Zone Ice Packs because adults and children are at risk of poisoning from ingesting the gel if the packs become damaged. The gel inside the packs could contain diethylene glycol and ethylene glycol, substances that can cause illness and death if ingested.

The company has received no reports of human injury, but did receive two separate reports of dogs chewing on the gel pack and ingesting the gel contents. One dog received medical treatment and recovered. However, the other dog died.

The recall is in addition to 248,000 Cryofreeze Freezer Gel Packs sold with Expandable Insulated Lunch Boxes and 55,000 of the Cryofreeze Ice Pack/Hot Pack sold with the Travelin’ chef Expandable Thermal Food Carrier.

Consumers can identify the recalled gel packs by the following:

Cryofreeze ice/hot packs in small and large styles. Both have opaque blue wrappers with the words "Cryofreeze," "Ice Pack/Hot Pack," "Non-toxic" and "Reusable" printed on the front:

  • The small gel pack is 6 inches wide and 5.5 inches high
  • The large gel pack is 8.5 inches wide and 8 inches high

Cryofreeze Transparent Cell ice/hot packs in three styles. Each has a transparent wrapper with the words "Cryofreeze," "Ice Pack/Hot Pack," "Non-toxic" and "Reusable" printed on the front:

  • One 3-cell pack has three connected rectangular-shaped pouches of blue gel and is 7.85 inches wide and 5.5 inches high.
  • Another 3-cell pack has three connected square-shaped pouches of blue gel and is 7.6 inches wide and 3 inches high.
  • The 2-cell pack has two connected square-shaped pouches of blue gel and is 5 inches wide and 3 inches high.

Arctic Zone ice pack is 6.25 inches wide and 4 inches high and has an opaque blue wrapper. The Arctic Zone logo and a picture of an iceberg appear on the front of the wrapper. The words "ICE," "Personal Ice Pack" and "Non-Toxic Leak Proof Gel" are also printed on the front of the wrapper.

According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) release, consumers may have purchased these gel packs separately or with a variety of lunch boxes, coolers and thermal carriers from retailers, mass merchandise and warehouse stores, distributors and online sellers between July 2007 and December 2008.

California Innovations is advising consumers to stop using the recalled gel packs immediately and dispose of them in accordance with government regulations by contacting their local waste disposal authority.

The company is offering consumers a refund of $6 for the large Cryofreeze gel packs and a $5 refund for all others. Consumers can call (800) 722-2545 for more information.