CALIFORNIA—California Department of Public Health officials have issued a warning on Wednesday, August 22, to consumers to not eat Red Vines black licorice as it has been proven to contain high levels of lead. Consumers who have recently bought the 1-pound bag of candy with the phrase "best before 02/04/13" are advised to throw it away immediately.
Recent analysis of the candy by the CDPH determined the licorice contained at least 0.33 parts per million of lead. Thus, the amount of lead per serving could be up to 13.2 micrograms. Children under the age of six should not consume over 6.0 micrograms of lead per day from all dietary sources. Even low levels of lead “have been shown to affect IQ, ability to pay attention and academic achievement,” according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention.
The candy's manufacturer, the American Licorice Company of Union City, California, has issued a voluntary recall for the candy that has been affected. Authorities recommend pregnant women and parents of small children who have recently eaten the licorice to contact their doctors.
“Safety is the number one priority for our company,” the company said on its website. “We are taking every possible precautionary step to make this situation right, including working diligently with our retailers and public health officials in an effort to keep all Red Vines consumers as safe as possible.”
Additional information and photos of the affected product is available on the CDPH website. Consumers who find this product on sale should call the CDPH Complaint Hotline at 1-800-495-3232.
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