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Dr. Mark Horton, director of the California Department of Public Health (CDPH), today warned consumers not to eat Tamanlorin Tamarind Candy or BarriChicle Mini Chewing Gum, which are imported from Mexico, after tests by CDPH found levels of lead that could cause health problems. Eating lead-contaminated candy is particularly harmful to infants, young children and pregnant women.(See photos of Tamanlorin Tamarind Candy and BarriChicle Mini Chewing Gum.)“Lead exposure, both short and long term, can be toxic, especially for infants, young children and pregnant women,” Horton said. “Today’s warning is part of our ongoing efforts to ensure the safety of foods sold in California.”BarriChicle Mini Chewing Gum is distributed by International Distributors of Vernon, Calif. International Distributors has initiated a voluntary recall of the product and is working with CDPH to ensure that this product is removed from store shelves.CDPH is in the process of identifying California distributors of Tamanlorin Tamarind Candy.Consumers in possession of Tamanlorin Tamarind Candy or BarriChicle Mini Chewing Gum candies should discard them. Pregnant women and parents of children who may have consumed these candies should consult their health care provider to determine if medical testing is needed.Tamanlorin Tamarind Candy is packaged in a plastic jar containing 50 pieces of candy. The jar has a yellow plastic screw-on lid with a yellow label on the front of the jar. The label contains the word “Tamanlorin.” There is a drawing of a green bird at the left of the word ”Tamanlorin.” The individual candies are approximately 6 inches long, red in color and wrapped around a yellow plastic straw.BarriChicle Mini Chewing Gum is packaged in 2.47-ounce glass bottles shaped like barrels with white plastic lids. Each bottle contains pieces of chewing gum of various colors. The individual bottles are packaged in a cardboard box covered with clear plastic wrap, six bottles per box. The box is multi-colored with the words “BarriChicle Mini Chewing Gum” on each side.Recent analysis of this candy by CDPH determined that Tamanlorin Candy contained as much as 0.23 parts per million (ppm) of lead and that BarriChicle Mini Chewing Gum contained as much as 0.26 ppm of lead. California considers candies with lead levels in excess of 0.10 ppm to be contaminated. This level is consistent with the guidance issued by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration in November 2006 on the recommended lead level of 0.10 ppm in candy products likely to be consumed by children.For more information about lead poisoning, consumers are advised to contact their local childhood lead poisoning prevention program or public health department. Additional information and a list of local childhood lead prevention programs are available at http://www.cdph.ca.gov/healthinfo/discond/Pages/CLPPBChildrenAtRisk.aspx.Consumers who find Tamanlorin or BarriChicle Mini Chewing Gum candies for sale are encouraged to call the CDPH Complaint Hotline at 1-800-495-3232.
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