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Nationwide cinnamon recall after concentrations of lead found in the product, Florida company affected


Florida – The food industry faced a significant challenge this week as several U.S. companies have initiated recalls of ground cinnamon products. The reason behind these sudden recalls is the discovery of elevated concentrations of lead in the spice, which has raised serious health concerns among consumers and regulators alike.

Urgent Recalls Issued by Food Suppliers

The recalls were announced on Wednesday by four food suppliers, following tests that revealed the presence of the toxic metal in their ground cinnamon products. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has issued warnings regarding the potential health implications of ingesting lead, which can adversely affect nearly every system within the body. Symptoms of lead exposure include high blood pressure, headaches, stomach cramps, and fatigue, with prolonged exposure linked to kidney and gastrointestinal dysfunctions, as well as neurological effects like delayed reaction times, irritability, and potentially seizures.

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The Risk to Children

The risks are particularly severe for children, where lead poisoning can lead to permanent developmental issues, including damage to the brain and nervous system, learning and speech problems, and a lower IQ, as outlined by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Companies Taking Action

The first company to initiate a recall, as announced by the FDA, was Colonna Brothers from North Bergen, New Jersey. The firm announced the recall of two types of ground cinnamon with best before dates spanning into 2025, distributed nationwide. The FDA noted that Colonna Brothers had voluntarily halted the production and distribution of all its cinnamon products, with no violations of federal rules reported. This recall action was prompted by an FDA sampling program focused on discount brands, spurred by growing concerns surrounding cinnamon.

Following Colonna Brothers, El Chilar Rodriguez, based in Apopka, Florida, recalled 1,524 1.25-ounce bags of its “Canela Molida” ground cinnamon. This recall was triggered by testing from the Maryland Department of Health, which suggested the contamination might stem from adulterated raw material supplied to the company.

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Raja Foods of Skokie, Illinois, also issued a recall for two batches of its Swad brand cinnamon, packaged in 3.5-ounce bags with best-before dates in March and July 2026. The product, distributed across the Midwest, Northeast, and Southeast, was recalled after routine FDA sampling indicated potential contamination.

Continuing Efforts for Safety

Lastly, La Fiesta Food Products of La Mirada, California, announced a recall of its 0.87-ounce bags of ground cinnamon, identified through FDA testing as containing elevated lead levels. This product had been distributed in retail stores across Arizona, California, Texas, and Washington between April 20, 2023, and May 3, 2023.

These recalls underscore the importance of stringent quality control measures and the need for consumers to stay informed about potential health risks associated with food products.

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