Where Local and Global Appetites Collide

Food Recall Blog: Mexican Candy Contains Lead / Lead Poisoning

In a nutshell: Candy imported from Mexico contains lead. This makes me wonder what else has lead in it that we consume.

December 4, 2007–A San Antonio company is voluntarily recalling jars of candy imported from Mexico after testing by the Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS) found elevated lead levels that could cause health problems.

Villa-Mex Imports, Inc., is recalling Barrilito, a dark brown thick syrup sold in 3.3 ounce (100 gram) glass barrel-shaped jars with white plastic lids. The yellow label shows the name Barrilito in red outline letters. The label also reads: Productos Avila, S.A. de C.V. Puerto Malaque 1379 Col. Sta. Maria Guadalajara, Jal. Mexico.

DSHS officials said the problem is with the product, not with the distributor, Villa-Mex Imports.

Recent laboratory tests show lead levels above the 0.1 parts per million lead level considered to be a potential public health hazard by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Candy samples ranged from 0.101 to 0.132 parts per million of lead. The tests were part of DSHS product surveillance conducted over the last several months.

Eating products containing lead can be especially harmful to infants, young children and pregnant women. Too much lead intake can result in delayed mental and physical development and learning deficiencies. Children who have high blood lead levels may be tired or cranky, not have much appetite, not be able to pay attention, have headaches, vomit, be constipated, be clumsy or weak or not be able to sleep. Some children who have lead poisoning may not look or act sick.

DSHS officials say consumers who have the recalled product should not eat it and should return it or throw it away. The only way to know if a child has a high blood lead level is to have a blood lead test. People concerned about blood lead levels should call their doctor or health clinic about testing.

Anyone who is distributing or selling Barrilito is asked to stop distributing and remove from the shelves in states other than Texas.

  1. This is intereresting.
    Here in Tucson we have lots of Mexican candy being consumed by lots of kids. I’ve always mistrusted the stuff myself.
    I wonder how long it’s been happening?

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