The California Department of Public Health is warning consumers not to eat five different dried plum and prune products because they may contain dangerous levels of lead. CDPH issued a health advisory Monday after tests revealed illegal concentrations of lead in the preserved fruits, all of which were imported by California companies from either Hong Kong or Taiwan. Lead is a soft, dense metal used to make batteries and metal mixtures. House paints and gasoline are no longer allowed to be made with lead. Lead poisoning can lead to serious health consequences, especially in young children. Concentrations of 10 micrograms per deciliter or higher in the bloodstream 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. Children under age 6 should not consume more than 6.0 micrograms of lead per day as a total from all dietary sources, says CDPH. Products subject to this recall and the levels of lead they contained are as follows: – Dried Plum, imported from Hong Kong by T&H Trading Co/Rong Tan Kwok Yu, Inc., of Oakland, California, is sold in a 4 ounce clear plastic package that has yellow, red and blue stripping at the top and bottom. Chinese characters appear on the front of the package in the same colors. The plum products are visible through the packaging. CDPH’s recent chemical analysis determined that Dried Plum contained as much as 17.1 micrograms of lead per serving. – Sweet and Soure Prune, imported from Taiwan by CHO Fuku Group (USA), Inc., El Monte, California, is sold in a 5 ounce (142gram) clear plastic package that has a yellow border with various fruits shown at the bottom and Chinese characters appearing on the package. The preserved prunes are visible through the packaging. CDPH’s recent chemical analysis determined that Sweet and Soure Prune contained as much as 16.0 micrograms of lead per serving.
– Ching Ling Dried Prune, imported from Taiwan by Tiffany Food Company, of New York, N.Y., is sold in a 120 grams plastic package that is primarily white with a picture showing a family working in the fields and has numerous small to large Chinese characters on the package. The words ‘Gourmet Foods’ appear in the bottom left corner. The prune products are visible through a small clear window on the package. CDPH’s recent chemical analysis determined that Ching Ling Dried Prune contained as much as 7.2 micrograms of lead per serving.
– Preserved Plum, imported from China by K.Y.L. Trading Co, Inc., of Brisbane, California, is sold in a 56 ounce clear hard round plastic container that has a yellow label with black and red Chinese characters on it. The top of the container is red with gold wrapping below it. The plum products are visible through the round hard plastic container. CDPH’s recent chemical analysis determined that Preserved Plum contained as much as 9.2 micrograms of lead per serving.
– Dried Red Prune, imported from Taiwan by Richen Trading of Alhambra, California, is sold in a 1.7 ounce (50 gram) plastic package that has light yellow and soft pink colors surrounding the package with Chinese characters and a green picture of fruit towards the top. The plum products are visible through a small clear rectangle. CDPH’s recent chemical analysis determined that Dried Red Plum contained as much as 11.0 micrograms of lead per serving.
Consumers who have purchased any of the recalled products should discard them immediately, says CDPH. Pregnant women or children who may have consumed these dried fruits should visit a healthcare professional in case medical testing is needed.