Red Vines Black Licorice Twists Recalled For All That Unsavory Lead

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.

Red Vines black licorice recalled over high lead levels [MSNBC]


Edit Your Comment

  1. HeadsOnPikes says:

    Shouldn’t they call it something other than Red Vines?

  2. [censored] says:

    In other news, liquorice makers in China continue business as usual.

  3. That guy. says:

    Lead? Why?

  4. Sarek says:

    After it’s recalled, it will be sent to nuclear power plants.

  5. momoftwokids says:

    I don’t know about other people, but my “small child” wouldn’t touch black licorice with a 10-foot pole because of the strong flavor. She only eats the red stuff.

  6. shepd says:

    I thought only China made products like this?

    • dangermike says:

      Actually, lead contamination has been a recurrent problem from Mexico and South America, too. Many lead compounds have a pleasantly sweet taste, too, rather than the bitter or acrid kind of tones we associate with dangerous consumables.

  7. Delicious Spam is delicious says:

    actually lead is very tasty. kind of a sweet licorice sort of tangy flavor.

  8. GrimJack says:

    Cigarettes and Red Vines… both are poisonous.

    Thanks, Aimee Mann…

  9. Oh_No84 says:

    They blew it not having a waynes world reference. Sad.

  10. RavenWarrior says:

    Not even Mr. Pibb can make those Red Vines crazy delicious.