NEW YORK -- McDonald's recalled Monday nearly a million red whistles included with a Hello Kitty-themed toy offered in children's meal choices in the United States and Canada.
The whistle in the "Hello Kitty Birthday Lollipop Toy" can detach, posing a choking and breathing hazard to young children, the fast-food giant said in a statement.
"McDonald's has received two reports of children who coughed out pieces of the whistle," the company said. "We have expressed our sincere apologies to them."
About 2.5 million whistles were manufactured to be distributed with children's Happy Meals from October 31 through November 25 as part of the company's celebration of the 40th anniversary of Hello Kitty, the globally popular character created by Japan's Sanrio.
The product is manufactured in China, according to a Recall Summary issued by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission.
McDonald's said it has recovered abut 1.6 million of the whistles, leaving some 900,000 affected by the recall.
Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2014