California company recalls bags of licorice due to lead levels

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The American Licorice Company of California is recalling 16-ounce bags of "Red Vines Black Licorice Twists."

The candy in the one pound bags with a "best by" date of Feb. 4, 2013, were found to have elevated levels of lead, according to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

American Licorice learned from the California Department of Public Health, that some licorice twists contain levels of lead that could potentially cause health problems to consumers, particularly infants, small children, and pregnant women.

Red Vines Black Licorice Twists is a black licorice candy made from molasses, wheat flour, corn syrup, caramel coloring, licorice extract, salt, and anise flavor. The recalled 16-ounce bag is red and white in color with a window in the package to display the black licorice twists.

Recent analysis of the product revealed the candy contained lead levels as high as .33 parts per million. This concentration of lead could provide up to 13.2 micrograms of lead per serving and children under 6 years of age should not consume more than 6.0 micrograms of lead per day from all dietary sources, California health officials said.

Consumers should not eat the candy and should return it to place of purchase for a full refund.

Pregnant women and parents of children who may have consumed any of the licorice should consult with their physician or health care provider to determine whether further medical testing is required.

American Licorice will be sending recall notices to all affected customers. Call 886-442-2783 for more information.

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