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California AG issues consumer alert for 'dangerous' lead levels in candy

Rob Bonta
Rich Pedroncelli
California Attorney General Rob Bonta speaks at a news conference on Aug. 17, 2021 in Sacramento, Calif.

The California Attorney General's Office issued a consumer alert Friday related to dried plum fruit and candy products that allegedly contain dangerous levels of lead, including several products sold by San Diego retailers.

California Attorney General Rob Bonta's office said it has sent letters directing retailers to immediately remove the products from shelves, many of which appear to be marketed to children.

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The AG's Office says testing revealed many of the products contained lead levels that "far exceed" the maximum allowable dosage under the Safe Drinking Water and Toxic Enforcement Act, which requires a warning for products that cause lead exposures in excess of 0.5 micrograms per day. Other provisions of state law prohibit the products from being sold anywhere in California, the AG's Office said.

Among those sold in the San Diego area are:

— El Chavito Saladitos Enchilados Salted Plums W/Chili;

— El Leoncito Ponchin Saladitos con Chile/Dry Salted Plums with Chili;

— El Super Leon Saladitos/Dry Salted Plums with Chili & Chamoy;


— Hola Lobito Fresco Ciruela Salada Sabor Limon/Lemon Flavored Salted Plum;

— La Fiesta Saladitos Con Chile/Salted Plums with Chili.

Others sold by online retailers include:

— Alamo Candy Saladitos Con Limon/Dried Salted Plums with Lemon;

— Lupag Saladitos Con Chile/Chile Salted Plums;

— Spice and Chili Saladitos with Chili;

— Snackerz Saladitos (Salted Plums).

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The remaining products identified in the Attorney General's press release are sold in the San Francisco Bay Area.

"When Californians go into a supermarket to purchase their favorite treat, they shouldn't have to worry about whether that product might harm them or their children," said Bonta. "The fact is: Lead is a known public health hazard, and exposure to this neurotoxin can have lasting health consequences. Testing by my office revealed dangerous levels of lead in dried plum fruits and candies being sold at retail outlets across our state. We're directing retailers to remove these products from their shelves, but if you already have them in your pantry, please check to see if they match the products we've identified — and do not consume them if so."

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