Red Vines Black Licorice Twists were voluntarily recalled by American Licorice Co. after a state agency found excessive levels of lead in the candy.
Red Vines Black Licorice Twists have been voluntarily recalled by their California maker after a state agency found levels of lead in the candy that exceed permitted standards.
The candy was recalled by American Licorice Co. of Union City in the San Francisco Bay area on Wednesday, the same day that the California Department of Public Health warned consumers not the eat the old-fashioned treat.
Packages with a best-before date of Feb. 04, 2013 – labeled 020413 – were found to contain .33 parts per million of lead. That amounts to 13.2 micrograms of lead per serving, according to the state public health department.
That per-serving level is more than twice the amount – 6 micrograms – that children under the age of 6 should consume in one day.
The candy is sold in 1-pound red plastic packages.
The candymaker advised consumers in a statement that the best-before date is found in black ink on the back of the package. The company said it had separated all 1-pound bags of Black Licorice Twists in its warehouse.
"We are taking every possible precautionary step to make this situation right, including working diligently with our retailers and public health officials in an effort to keep all Red Vines® consumers as safe as possible," the company said in its recall notice. "We sincerely apologize to any consumers affected by this recall."
Consumers who have purchased products meeting that description should throw them out, the state agency said. Those who find the candy for sale should call the CDPH Complaint Hotline at 1-800-495-3232.
In children, mild lead poisoning can associated with hyperactivity, irritability, sleeplessness, lack of concentration, behavioral problems, and learning disabilities, according to the state agency.
More severe lead poisoning can be accompanied by hearing problems, headaches, nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, loss of appetite, constipation, muscle soreness, anemia, neurological impairments such as stumbling or loss of concentration, seizures, encephalopathy, and coma.