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GoodRx HealthCinnamon Recall: Is Your Cinnamon Safe?

FDA recall of ground cinnamon products due to lead contamination raises concerns about the safety of everyday ingredients and highlights broader implications for food safety and potential health risks, particularly in children.

The FDA has issued a recall for certain ground cinnamon products due to lead contamination concerns, classifying the recall as Class II, which indicates possible temporary or medically reversible adverse health consequences. This action follows a previous recall of cinnamon applesauce pouches that were linked to lead poisoning in children. The findings have prompted closer scrutiny of the cinnamon supply chain and raised awareness of the risks associated with lead exposure, especially in young children.

Key Points:

  • Recall Announcement: The FDA recalled specific brands of ground cinnamon in March 2024 due to lead contamination concerns.
  • Recall Classification: The recall has been classified as Class II, meaning the products may cause temporary or medically reversible adverse health consequences.
  • Testing and Findings: Elevated lead levels were found in samples from six distributors after a review of cinnamon products from discount retail stores.
  • No Reported Illnesses: To date, no illnesses or side effects have been reported from consuming the affected cinnamon products.
  • Previous Recall Context: This recall follows a November 2023 recall of cinnamon applesauce pouches linked to more than 450 cases of lead poisoning in children.
  • Sources of Lead Contamination: Lead can contaminate cinnamon due to its presence in water and soil near cinnamon bark trees, and through the processing and manufacturing processes.
  • Health Risks of Lead Exposure: Long-term exposure to lead can harm brain development and cause various health issues, especially in children under 6 years old.
  • Symptoms of Lead Poisoning: Common symptoms include abdominal pain, nausea, constipation, fatigue, seizures, lower IQ, learning difficulties, behavior problems, hearing and speech issues, and poor growth.
  • Recalled Cinnamon Brands: The recalled brands include La Fiesta, Marcum, MK brand, Swad, Supreme Tradition, and El Chilar. Specific lot numbers and best-by dates are provided for each brand.
  • Differences from Previous Recall: The previous applesauce recall involved higher lead levels, suspected intentional contamination, and additional chromium exposure, whereas the current cinnamon recall does not.
  • Recommendations for Consumers: Consumers are advised to discard any recalled cinnamon products and consider a blood test to measure lead levels if exposure is suspected.

CDC estimates that approximately 500,000 children in the United States have blood lead levels (BLLs) at or above the blood level reference value (BLRV) of 3.5 micrograms per deciliter (µg/dL).

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