American Licorice Company has issued a recall of one pound bags of Red Vines Black Licorice Twists with a best before date of February 4, 2013 due to testing positive for high levels of lead.
The California Department of Public Health found that samples of the black licorice candy contained .33 parts per million of lead. A concentration that high could provide up to 13.2 micrograms of lead per serving, which is more than double the daily limit for children younger than 6. No one has reported being sick in connection with the candy, a health department spokesman said. Officials are still investigating the source of the contamination.
Lead can be dangerous to young children and pregnant women. It can also be toxic to developing organs and may impair neurological development. Long-term lead poisoning has been linked to learning disabilities in children.
Pregnant women and children who have eaten the candy should have a doctor determine if medical testing for lead is necessary. Consumers who have purchased the candy have been advised by American Licorice to return it to the place of purchase for a full refund. If you see the candy for sale, call the CDPH complaint hotline at 1-800-495-3232.