Lead Levels in Licorice Cause Recall

A California-based licorice company has recalled black licorice after it was discovered that the candy in the bags contains a high level of lead.

Watch that candy before you take a bite; it could contain something far more dangerous than sugar. A statewide recall of black licorice in California has been ordered because of high levels of lead in the product.

The American Licorice Company has recalled its one-pound packages of Red Vines Black Licorice Twists, and the California Department of Public Heath issued a statement in response to the recall. "Recent analysis of this candy by CDPH determined that Red Vines Black Licorice Twists candy, 'Best Before' 020413, contained as much as 0.33 parts per million of lead," CDPH said on its website. "This concentration of lead could provide up to 13.2 micrograms of lead per serving. Children under six years of age should not consume more than 6.0 micrograms of lead per day from all dietary sources."

Based in California, the company is working with distributors to remove the candy from shelves and cease distribution. The bags of licorice recalled have "Best Before 020413" printed on the back of the package.

"We sincerely apologize to any consumers affected by this recall," the company said in a statement on its website. "Safety is the number one priority for our company. 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."

Anyone concerned they may have eaten the licorice should contact a doctor for lead-level testing.

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