3/8/24 - FDA Warns Of Cinnamon Products Bought At Discount Stores

file image: FDA

The Food and Drug Administration has issued an alert for elevated lead levels in ground cinnamon products sold at discount stores such as Dollar Tree, Family Dollar and Save A Lot.

(UPI) -- The Food and Drug Administration is urging consumers to toss-out six ground cinnamon products, sold in the United States, after the agency found they are contaminated with lead.

The agency's warning comes one month after certain cinnamon applesauce pouches caused lead poisoning in young children.

The FDA warned consumers not to eat, buy or sell ground cinnamon 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 El Chilar, from La Joya Morelense.

According to FDA analysis, all of the products were found to have elevated lead levels ranging from 2.03 to 3.4 parts per million.

"The levels of lead we found in some ground cinnamon products are too high and we must do better to protect those most vulnerable to the negative health outcomes of exposure to elevated levels of lead," said Deputy Commissioner for Human Foods Jim Jones.

The FDA has notified the retail chains, which carry the six brands, and is recommending a voluntary recall. The FDA also alerted all cinnamon manufacturers Wednesday in a letter, reminding them to implement controls to prevent chemical hazards in food.

Dollar Tree and Family Dollar stores have removed the products.

Wednesday's FDA alert comes one month after the FDA linked cinnamon applesauce, from the Florida-based WanaBana USA, to lead poisoning in young children. The cinnamon used in the flavored applesauce was processed by a company called Carlos Aguilera in Ecuador. As of Feb. 23, the CDC had received reports of 468 cases of lead poisoning in 44 states.

The FDA also warned parents about "extremely high concentrations of lead in the WanaBana apple cinnamon fruit puree pouches in October 2023.

Wednesday's FDA warning advises consumers to check their homes for the six contaminated ground cinnamon products, due to their long shelf life, and discard them.

Since most people experience no obvious immediate symptoms of lead exposure, the FDA is also advising anyone exposed to the elevated levels of lead in the cinnamon products to talk to their healthcare provider.

"Today's actions serve as a signal to industry that more needs to be done to prevent elevated levels of contaminants from entering our food supply," said Jones. "Food growers, manufacturers, importers and retailers share a responsibility for ensuring the safety of the foods that reach store shelves."

Recommendations for consumers

  • The FDA is advising consumers to stop using and dispose of these products. 
  • Consumers should not eat, sell, or serve ground cinnamon products listed in the table above and should discard them.  
  • These products have a long shelf life. Consumers should check their homes and discard these products.  
  • If there’s suspicion that someone has been exposed to elevated levels of lead, talk to your healthcare provider. Most people have no obvious immediate symptoms of lead exposure. 

 

Health care professionals, patients and consumers are encouraged to report complaints and cases of exposure and adverse events to the FDA’s MedWatch Safety Information and Adverse Event Reporting Program.

To report a complaint or adverse event (illness or serious allergic reaction), you can

MORE INFORMATION AVAILABLE at: www.fda.gov

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