You might love it, you might hate it, or you might think it’s redundant to call it black licorice because really, as my dad says “red licorice” is just red chewy stuff and black licorice is just licorice. In any case, if you’re not in the mood to ingest lead, you shouldn’t eat Red Vines Black Licorice Twists. The company that makes it issued a voluntary recall yesterday for its 1-pound bags, after an investigation found high levels of lead.
MSNBC reports that American Licorice Co., based in California, recalled bags with a “best before” date of Feb. 4, 2013. So far it isn’t clear how many bags are included in the recall.
“American Licorice is notifying consumers not to eat this candy and asking they return to their place of purchase for a full refund,” company officials said in a statement on their website.
The California Department of Public Health studied samples of the candy and found as much as .33 parts per million of lead in it. At that level, eating the licorice could result in a dose of about 13.2 micrograms of lead per serving, more than double what a small child should eat in a day, said health officials.
There haven’t been any reports of illness due to eating the candy yet, and health officials are still investigating how all that lead found its way into the licorice in the first place. It’s potentially dangerous for pregnant women and young kids, as lead is a heavy metal that could be toxic to developing organs and damage neurological development.
Consumers who find the candy for sale are urged to call the CDPH complaint hotline at 1-800-495-3232.
It’s worth noting that another brand of black licorice has been recalled recently, as noted in our August recall roundup — Lucky Country Aussie Style Soft Gourmet Black Licorice — so perhaps some lead contamination conspiracy is afoot.