The state Department of Corrections on Thursday night issued a voluntary recall of all food made in the Airway Heights Corrections Center kitchens.
The brownies, breakfast bars and other baked goods are sent throughout the state to outside customers and to other DOC facilities in Washington.
The foods are being recalled because the city of Airway Heights, west of Spokane, has elevated rates of fluorinated organic chemicals in its water supply. Residents there have been advised to not drink the water or use it for cooking, an order in effect indefinitely.
The levels exceed the Environmental Protection Agency’s lifetime health advisory level, which is based off water ingestion, not skin contact or breathing in of vapor. (Both of those levels are safe.)
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Food processed with the water is much less likely to have a harmful amount of the organic chemicals in it, a DOC news release states. The health risk for eating the food processed with the water is expected to be “very small.”
The Airway Heights baked goods have been removed from inmates’ meals, the release states.
“The department is issuing the voluntary recall out of an abundance of caution and not in response to any specific threat of illness,” the release states. “The department is working with local authorities and health officials to determine when it can resume normal operations.”
The chemicals are believed to be in the area because of a fire-extinguishing foam used at Fairchild Air Force Base from 1970 until last year, The Spokesman-Review reported.