The FDA cinnamon recall 2024: What should you know about lead poisoning?

This latest FDA alert follows the recall of cinnamon applesauce pouches in late 2023 linked to hundreds of potential lead poisoning cases

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued a safety alert Wednesday warning consumers that select ground cinnamon products, sold at discount retailers including Dollar Tree, Family Dollar, and Save A Lot, contain “elevated levels of lead”. The agency recommends that consumers immediately discard the affected products and is urging manufacturers to issue voluntary recalls.

Why It Matters?

Lead poisoning is a serious health concern, particularly for children. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), children’s developing bodies make them more vulnerable to the harmful effects of lead. The CDC emphasizes, “Most children have no obvious immediate symptoms,” advising parents who believe their child may have been exposed to lead to consult with their doctor about blood testing.

Mounting Concerns

This latest FDA alert follows the recall of cinnamon applesauce pouches in late 2023 linked to hundreds of potential lead poisoning cases in children. Notably, the lead levels found in the newly identified ground cinnamon products (2.03 to 3.4 parts per million) are significantly lower than those found in the recalled pouches. The FDA stated that it currently “does not know how these products became contaminated with lead.”

Affected Brands and Products

  • Supreme Tradition (sold at Dollar Tree and Family Dollar)
  • Marcum (sold at Save A Lot)
  • La Fiesta (sold at La Superior and SuperMercados)
  • MK (sold at SF Supermarket)
  • Swad (sold at Patel Brothers)
  • El Chilar (sold at La Joya Morelense in Baltimore)

The FDA has posted recall notices for affected products on its website. A spokesperson for Dollar Tree and Family Dollar told the Associated Press that the stores have removed the cinnamon from shelves and are offering refunds.

What is the Problem?

The FDA determined through product testing that the listed products contain lead levels that may be unsafe with prolonged exposure. Consumers are advised to discard the affected products. The exception is MTCI cinnamon, as the FDA has been unable to reach the company. Updates regarding voluntary recalls will be provided as they become available.

Recommendations for Consumers

  • Stop using and discard the affected products immediately. The products have a long shelf life, so consumers should check their pantries.
  • Seek medical advice if you suspect lead exposure. Most people do not experience immediate symptoms.
  • The Bottom Line: The FDA’s ongoing efforts to identify and remove lead-contaminated products highlight the persistent issue of lead exposure. Consumers are urged to stay informed about potential recalls and to prioritize the health and safety of their families.

ALSO READ. What is benzene, the substance in acne creams that can cause cancer?

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