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CDPH Warns Consumers Not to Eat Khmeli Suneli Spice Blends Sold at Certain Stores in Los Angeles County

Date: January 4, 2019
Number: 19-001
Contact: Corey Egel | 916.440.7259 | CDPHpress@cdph.ca.gov

SACRAMENTOThe California Department of Public Health (CDPH) warned consumers today not to eat khmeli suneli dried spice blend due to elevated levels of lead. CDPH testing of these products identified high levels of lead in multiple pack-dates of the spice blends manufactured by Tanan Import Export, Inc. These products, pictured below, were sold at the following Los Angeles County locations:

  • Red Top Market, 600 South Glenoaks Blvd., Burbank
  • A & A Grocery & Deli / A Plus Grocery, 1218 South Glendale Ave., Glendale
  • Kozanyan Meat & Liquor, 1244 South Glendale Ave., Glendale
  • Verdugo Produce Meat & Deli, 716 South Verdugo Road, Glendale
  • Sherman Way Market Place, 13624 Sherman Way Blvd., Van Nuys
  • Sweet 1 Bakery, 13668 Oxnard Street, Van Nuys

Tanan Import Export, Inc. packaged the adulterated spice blend in bulk bags and delivered the product directly to the above retail locations. The brown-orange dried spice-blend was re-packaged into clear plastic containers at the retail locations. The plastic containers were labeled with a sticker by each retail location indicating the name of the spice blend (khmeli suneli), packaged weight and store name. The manufacturing firm (Tanan Import Export Inc.) is not listed on the retail labeling.

Elevated lead levels in food can be especially dangerous to children and pregnant women. Lead poisoning can harm a child's nervous system and brain while they are still developing, making it difficult to learn, pay attention and perform well in school. In pregnant women, high levels of exposure may cause premature delivery and poor growth of the fetus.

Consumers who have purchased this spice blend are advised to discard the product or return it to the place of purchase for a full refund. CDPH recommends individuals who have consumed this spice blend consult with their physician or health care provider to determine if further medical testing is needed.

For more information about lead poisoning, consumers should contact their local lead poisoning prevention program or local public health department. Additional information on lead poisoning and a list of local childhood lead poisoning prevention programs are available at the CDPH Childhood Lead Poisoning Prevention Branch Web site.

Consumers that observe the product being offered for sale should report the activity to CDPH toll-free complaint line at (800) 495-3232.

A plus a grocery container from KHMELI SUNELI
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