A North Carolina-based company is recalling one lot of its black licorice because the product contains high levels of lead. Lucky Country, Inc. of Lincolntown, NC issued a voluntary recall of its “Aussie Style” black licorice Friday after testing by the California Department of Health revealed that it contained levels of lead above government safety thresholds. According to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, lead levels as high at .18 parts per million were found in the product, an amount that could amount to 7.2 micrograms of lead per serving. This level exceeds the .1ppm limit that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has set for candies likely to be consumed frequently by small children. The licorice subject to recall was distributed to Costco and Smart & Final stores located in California, Arizona and Utah. The product is sold in 1.5 pound gusset bags with a zipper. Packaging bears the label “Lucky Country Aussie Style Soft Gourmet Black Licorice with Natural Ingredients,” is red, white and black in color, and is marked with lot number A3057. Consumers who purchased licorice in this lot are urged to return it to its place of purchase for a full refund. Those with questions can e-mail the company at customerservice@lucky-country.com or call 828-428-8313 during business hours. Lead is a soft, dense metal used to make batteries and metal mixtures. It is no longer allowed to be added to house paints or gasoline. Lead poisoning can lead to serious health consequences, especially in young children. Levels of 10 micrograms per deciliter of blood or higher are considered dangerous and can impair a child’s ability to learn. Higher levels of lead can damage a person’s kidney’s, blood and nervous system.