Mar 7, 2024 - Business

FDA warns of potentially "unsafe" lead levels in ground cinnamon

Illustration of a shopping cart with an "X".

Illustration: Shoshana Gordon/Axios

The Food and Drug Administration is warning that select ground cinnamon products sold at some discount stores contain "elevated levels of lead."

Why it matters: The federal agency said in a safety alert Wednesday that consumers should throw away the affected spice products, which were sold at retailers such as Dollar Tree, Family Dollar and Save A Lot.

  • The FDA is recommending manufacturers recall all the affected products, with the exception of MTCI cinnamon because the agency said it has been unable to reach the company.

Threat level: Children are more vulnerable to lead poisoning than adults because their bodies still developing, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

  • "Most children have no obvious immediate symptoms," the CDC says, noting parents who feel their child may have been exposed to lead should talk to their child's doctor about getting a blood test.

Between the lines: The FDA alert comes months after cinnamon applesauce pouches tied to hundreds of cases of potential lead poisoning cases in children were recalled.

  • The ground cinnamon products in Wednesday's FDA notice had lead levels of 2.03 to 3.4 parts per million, which is far lower than the recalled puree pouches.
  • The FDA on Thursday said it does "not know how these products became contaminated with lead."

Cinnamon recall list 2024

Zoom in: The following brands and products were included in the FDA alert, which contains the lots, codes and best by dates:

  • 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)

Recall notices were also posted for affected Swad, El Chilar, Marcum and Supreme Tradition products on the FDA's website as of Thursday early afternoon.

  • Dollar Tree and Family Dollar stores have removed the cinnamon from stores and customers can return products for refunds, a company spokesperson told the AP.

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