California Department of Public Health director Dr. Mark Horton Monday warned consumers not to eat Butter Ball candy imported from Japan after tests conducted by CDPH found unacceptable levels of lead.  Consumers should discard the candy immediately, the CDPH advised.

Butter Ball candy is imported and distributed by Mitsuwa Corporation in Torrance, CA.  Mitsuwa has recalled the contaminated candies and is working with health authorities to ensure that they are removed from the marketplace, the CDPH said in a news release.

Recent chemical analysis of Butter Ball candy by CDPH’s Food and Drug Laboratory determined that it contained as much as 0.16 parts per million of lead.  California considers candies with lead levels in excess of 0.10 parts per million to be contaminated. 

Butter Ball is a hard, orange-colored candy packaged in a plastic package with orange stripes across the top and bottom.  The front of the package contains Japanese characters and the words “Butter Ball” and “Tasteful & Good Flavor.”  The top left side of the package contains a red circle with a white bell and the word “Nisshin.”  The candies are individually wrapped and are visible through the package.

Pregnant women and parents of children who may have consumed this candy should consult their physician or health care provider to determine if medical testing is needed, CDPH said.

Anyone finding the candy for sale is asked to call the CDPH Complaint Hotline at 800-495-3232.  For information on lead exposure go to the CDPH website.