Certain ground cinnamon may have high levels of lead, FDA warns

Check your pantries. 

Some ground cinnamon products have high levels of lead and may be unsafe for consumers, the Food and Drug Administration announced on Wednesday. 

The FDA is advising consumers to throw away these ground cinnamon products: 

"These products have a long shelf life. Consumers should check their homes and discard these products," the FDA said. 

The FDA has reached out to all distributors to issue a voluntary recall except for MTCI because they were unable to be reached, the agency explained. MTCI owns the MK brand of ground cinnamon products involved in this alert. 

Dollar Tree and Family Dollar stores have removed the cinnamon from their store shelves, a company spokesperson said. Customers can return products to nearby stores for a refund. 

FDA officials launched what they called a "targeted survey" of cinnamon products sold in discount stores after an October 2023 recall of lead-tainted cinnamon applesauce pouches that sickened nearly 500 U.S. children.

The ground cinnamon products in Wednesday's notice had lead levels of 2.03 to 3.4 parts per million, far lower than the puree pouches, which contained 2,270 parts per million to 5,110 parts per million of lead. 

No illnesses or other health effects have been reported in connection with the new ground cinnamon alert, the FDA said. 

There is no safe level of lead exposure for humans. Long-term exposure of lead can cause problems, especially in growing children, including learning disabilities, behavioral difficulties and lower IQ. 

The Associated Press contributed to this report. This story was reported from Los Angeles.