Florida firm recalls cinnamon named in FDA warning about elevated levels of lead

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Florida firm recalls cinnamon named in FDA warning about elevated levels of lead

El Chilar Rodriguez LLC of Apopka, FL, is recalling more than 1,500 bags of El Chilar Ground Cinnamon “Canela Molida” sold in 1.25-ounce bags, because it may contain traces of lead. 

The product was distributed by La Raza LLC of Forestville, MD, which distributes to brick-and-mortar retail stores within the state of Maryland.

The product can be identified by the lot codes D300 EX1024 and F272 EX1026, which is stamped on the front side of the packaging.

The recall was initiated after the Maryland Department of Health collected product samples and analysis came back with elevated concentrations of lead. Subsequent investigation indicates the problem might be caused by potentially adulterated raw material from the supplier.

Consumers who have purchased El Chilar Ground Cinnamon “Canela Molida” with lot code D300 EX1024 and F272 EX1026 are urged to stop using the product immediately and to return it to the place of purchase for a full refund. Parents and caregivers of toddlers and young children who may have been exposed to lead should contact their health care provider to report their symptoms and receive care. Consumers with questions may contact El Chilar Rodriguez LLC at 407-880-6007.

The sampling program in Maryland that discovered the elevated levels of lead in the El Chilar brand ground cinnamon is in response to the problem with elevated levels of lead in cinnamon in children’s applesauce and recalls of products in the fall of 2023. The FDA issued warnings on March 6 about the El Chilar cinnamon and several other brands, some of which are being recalled.

The products are not targeted toward children, but are used as ingredients in foods that consumers may make and serve to children.

“Consistent with the agency’s Closer to Zero initiative, which focuses on reducing childhood exposure to lead, the agency is recommending voluntary recall of the products because prolonged exposure to the products may be unsafe. Removing the ground cinnamon products in this alert from the market will prevent them from contributing elevated amounts of lead to the diets of children,” according to the FDA warning.

About lead poisoning

Parents and caretakers should consult a healthcare provider and ask for blood tests if they suspect a child may have been exposed to the recalled cinnamon applesauce products. 

Short-term exposure to lead could result in the following symptoms: headache, abdominal pain/colic, vomiting, and anemia. 

Longer-term exposure could result in additional symptoms: irritability, lethargy, fatigue, muscle aches or muscle prickling/burning, constipation, difficulty concentrating/muscular weakness, tremors, and weight loss. 

Permanent consequences can lead to developmental delays and brain damage.

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