Red Vines black licorice has been recalled because, according to health officials in California, it has a high level of lead content. The California Department of Public Health tested the product and found that packages of the candy that are best if consumed before February 4, 2013 had lead levels higher than the state's set standards.
In one particular test, the agency found that one serving of the black licorice contained 13.2 micrograms of lead. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, lead exposure can affect practically every system in the body, but often has no apparent symptoms. When blood contains lead in quantities higher than five micrograms per deciliter, the concentration is considered too high. California officials also recommend that those who are pregnant and children under six years of age should not ingest more than six micrograms of lead daily.
The Red Vine black licorice in question was sold in one-pound packages under the company's product name, "Black Licorice Twists." They were manufactured and distributed by American Licorice Company of Union City, California.
The recall is mandatory. Individuals who currently own the product have been instructed not to eat it and to contact the company directly. For those who have already consumed the candy, it may be wise to contact the local health department.
When a company violates known safety standards, it may be liable for injuries caused to consumers. Children are particularly susceptible to lead poisoning. Symptoms may be difficult to detect, however. Consequently, when lead is ingested in levels above set safety regulations, consulting with a doctor is critical. In addition, a skilled toxic exposure attorney can ensure the injured party's rights are protected.
Source: Examiner, "Red Vines black licorice recalled over high lead levels," Kelly George, August 23, 2012.
Our firm handles situations in which individuals are exposed to toxic or defective products. If you would like to learn more about our practice, please visit our California toxic exposure page.