U.S – The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has announced steps to address concerns regarding elevated lead levels in certain ground cinnamon products.

Following findings of elevated lead levels in samples of ground cinnamon products, the FDA has issued a letter to all cinnamon manufacturers, processors, distributors, and facility operators in the United States, reminding them of the necessity to implement controls to prevent contamination from potential chemical hazards, including lead, in food products.

The agency has also recommended the voluntary recall of specific ground cinnamon products sold by various brands at six different retail chains.

The products listed for recall due to elevated lead levels include those distributed by La Fiesta Food Products, Marcum, Moran Foods, LLC, MTCI, SWAD (Raja Foods LLC), Supreme Tradition (Greenbriar International, Inc.), and El Chilar.

Consumers are advised to discard and avoid purchasing ground cinnamon products with the lot codes provided by the FDA.

Notably, the lead levels detected in these products, ranging from 2.03 to 3.4 parts per million (ppm) lead, are significantly lower than those found in cinnamon associated with recalled apple sauce pouches removed from the market previously.

Despite the lower lead levels, prolonged consumption of these ground cinnamon products may pose health risks, prompting the FDA’s recommendation for their recall.

Deputy Commissioner for Human Foods Jim Jones emphasized the shared responsibility among food industry stakeholders to ensure food safety, especially concerning contaminants like lead. He stressed the FDA’s commitment to protecting vulnerable populations from adverse health outcomes associated with elevated lead exposure.

In addition to urging industry compliance with current good manufacturing practices and preventive controls for human food, the FDA is pursuing additional authorities from Congress under its Closer to Zero initiative.

These efforts aim to mandate manufacturers to test ingredients or final products intended for infants and young children for contaminants before entering the U.S. market.

The proposed legislative measures in the President’s FY2024 Budget seek to enhance industry accountability, maintain testing results accessible for FDA inspection, and facilitate remote access to test results for regulatory oversight.

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