CHICAGO — A U.S. consumer watchdog agency Monday announced the recall of 400,000 toy boats given out by Burger King because of a potential choking hazard, the sixth recall in the past 15 months of toys distributed by U.S. fast food chains.
The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) said the "Rattling, Paddling Riverboat" toys distributed in Burger King Corp.'s Kid Meals contained metal pins with plastic caps that could come out and pose a choking risk to toddlers.
Burger King, the world's second largest burger chain, received 10 reports that the pin on the plastic red boat came out. One child was found with a pin in her mouth, the CPSC said, but her father removed it and no injuries were reported.
Burger King, a unit of Britain's Diageo Plc , first notified the CPSC about the potential choking hazard on Feb. 13, entering a "fast track" program that allows a company 20 days to issue a recall notice, the company and the CPSC said.
The toys, which were distributed in January and February, can be returned for a replacement toy.
Burger King last had a toy recalled 15 months ago when it pulled back about 25 million Pokmon balls after two infants suffocated when the containers covered their noses.
There have been four other recalls in the industry since then.
Most recently, the CPSC announced last week that Burger King's top competitor McDonald's Corp was recalling 234,000 "Scooter Bug" toys given out free with meals because the bug's antenna could break off, posing a choking hazard to young children.
McDonald's received two reports of children choking and one report of a child gagging on the broken-off antenna, the CPSC said.
The CPSC met earlier this year with representatives from the fast food industry to discuss safety issues with toys the industry distributes, spokeswoman Jane Francis said.
"We saw a problem there," Francis said. "The toy industry is something they are not up-to-speed on." But a Burger King spokeswoman said the toys are rigorously tested before they are distributed.
"We are investigating what happened with these toys, because they certainly exceeded all testing requirements," the spokeswoman, Kim Miller, said.