Recall Alert: There's Lead in Your Red Vines Licorice

According to the California Department of Public Health, a recent batch of Red Vines Black Licorice Twists is toxic.

Some bags of Red Vines black licorice have elevated levels of lead. (Photo: brenbot/Creative Commons)

There are licorice eaters among us who have always thought black licorice tasted like lead. Turns out, that wasn't far from the truth. California health officials have just discovered that a recent batch of Red Vines black licorice contains elevated levels of lead, reports ABC News.

Lead is a metal that can be ingested at low levels, but high doses can lead to lead poisoning. When ingested, lead accumulates in both soft tissues and bones; too much lead in the body can cause brain damage and learning disabilities in children. For pregnant woman, ABC News reports, the metal can be harmful to the fetus and increase a woman's chances of miscarriage.   

The California Department of Public Health (CDPH) said Red Vines had reached that risky level, stating that the quantities of lead in the licorice "could provide up to 13.2 micrograms of lead per serving." Children under six years old should not consume more than 6.0 micrograms of lead per day. 

More: Listeria Concerns Prompt Recall of Dole Bagged Salads

The recall only applies to one-pound bags of Red Vine Black Licorice Twists with the "Best Before Date" of 020413. The CDPH has advised pregnant women and children who have eaten the contaminated batch to consult a doctor to determine if medical testing is needed.

The American Licorice Company spoke out about the finding, assuring consumers that "safety is the number one priority" for the company, while conspicuously omitting any explanation of how lead got into the Red Vines in the first place.

What do you think about this recall? Does it seem like an isolated incident or does it make you fear for your food supply?

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