Does your cinnamon contain lead? What to know after FDA warning

Click to play video: 'Solutions to stop lead leaching into Canadian water'
Solutions to stop lead leaching into Canadian water
WATCH ABOVE: Solutions to stop lead leaching into Canadian water – Nov 6, 2019

Ground cinnamon products containing lead in the U.S. aren’t sold in Canadian grocery stores, according to the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA).

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued a health advisory on Wednesday urging consumers to dispose of six brands of ground cinnamon that were found to contain elevated levels of lead.

The brands allegedly containing lead are:

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

The CFIA said in an email to Global News on Thursday that it has been in contact with U.S. authorities and is “monitoring the situation.”

Story continues below advertisement

“The CFIA is not aware of any Canadian distribution of the recalled products,” the agency said. “Should additional information become available or products on the Canadian market found to be affected and a recall is requested, the CFIA will notify the public by posting recall information on the Recalls and Safety Alerts website and issuing food recall warnings when required,” it said.

The latest health and medical news emailed to you every Sunday.

The CFIA also encourages consumers to sign up to receive notifications about food recalls.

Click to play video: 'Listeria contamination in sandwiches leads to recall in Canada'
Listeria contamination in sandwiches leads to recall in Canada

The FDA says it initiated a targeted survey of ground cinnamon sold in discount retail stores after recalling a number of cinnamon apple puree and applesauce products containing lead in October 2023.

The agency says it has recommended that each brand voluntarily recalls its ground cinnamon products, with the exception of MK-maker MTCI, which it could not reach.

Story continues below advertisement

The levels of lead in the listed ground cinnamon products range from 2.03 to 3.4 parts per million, the FDA said. These levels are “significantly lower” than the 2,270 ppm to 5,110 ppm found in the ground cinnamon supplied by the manufacturer of the recalled apple puree and applesauce products, the agency notes.

Lead is a naturally occurring metal that is present in the air, water and soil.

According to Health Canada, lead exposure within the general population is most often linked to food and drinking water, along with consumables such as beer, wine, coffee, cereal-based foods and vegetables.

“Lead is not permitted to be added to foods sold in Canada; however, due to its ubiquitous presence in the environment, it is present in all foods, generally at very low levels,” Health Canada explains.

Lead may not produce specific symptoms if consumed at low levels, but exposure to high amounts may cause more prominent symptoms including headaches, irritability, abdominal pain, vomiting, general weakness and paleness, Health Canada warns. Lead consumption can have particularly harmful effects on infants and children, it says.

The FDA says no illnesses or adverse events have been reported to date in association with the contaminated ground cinnamon products. It recommends that consumers talk to their healthcare providers if they suspect they’ve been exposed to elevated levels of lead, even if they show no obvious symptoms.

Story continues below advertisement

“The FDA will continue to work with manufacturers, distributors, and retailers to remove unsafe products from the market, and to further investigate the sources of the lead contamination as appropriate,” the FDA said in its advisory Wednesday.

Sponsored content