Lead In Cinnamon Products

FDA Raises Alarm Over Lead Contamination In Cinnamon Products

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has issued a safety alert regarding lead contamination in various cinnamon products across the United States. The affected ground cinnamon products include La Fiesta from La Superior SuperMercados, Marcum from Save A Lot, MK from SF Supermarket, Swad from Patel Brothers, Supreme Tradition from Dollar Tree & Family Dollar, and Eli Chilar from La Joya Morelense.

Dollar Tree has taken swift action by removing all Supreme Tradition ground cinnamon products from its stores nationwide, expressing seriousness toward the matter. However, other retailers have not yet responded to requests for comment.

The FDA strongly advises against consuming, selling, or serving contaminated ground cinnamon products and urges individuals to discard them immediately. Despite the products’ long shelf life, the FDA emphasizes the risk posed by elevated lead levels, ranging from 2.03 to 3.4 parts per million, as identified through FDA analysis. Notably, spices, including cinnamon, do not currently have lead level limits set by the FDA, although the United Nations’ Food and Agriculture Organization proposes a safety standard of 2.5 parts per million for spices.

Lead exposure poses significant health risks, particularly to children, which results in severe issues such as learning and behavioral problems, lower IQ, brain and nervous system damage, and hearing and speech difficulties, as highlighted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

This warning follows a previous recall of lead-contaminated cinnamon applesauce pouches by WanaBana USA, which led to numerous cases of lead poisoning across 44 states, predominantly affecting young children. Although cinnamon was identified as the likely source of contamination in the applesauce pouches, the FDA clarifies that the ground cinnamon products under the current safety alert may not necessarily originate from the same source.

Brian Ronholm, Director of Food Policy for Consumer Reports, has described the FDA’s warning as “alarming,” which focuses on the widespread nature of the issue and the need for continued vigilance in ensuring food safety.

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