Independent lab tests of the holiday bread sold in early January by a Santa Ana, CA, bakery and linked to reports of dizziness, palpitations and other symptoms show that it was probably deliberately contaminated with synthetic cannabinoid, an artificial version of the main chemical ingredient in marijuana. “The levels in the cake are not small,” said Neil Spingarn, a pharmacologist with S&N Laboratories who tested the sample. “What is most striking is that this was not inadvertent,” he added. More than 40 people in Southern California were reportedly sickened after eating the special holiday bread called Rosca de Reyes. The sweet bread contains candied fruit and a little baby Jesus figurine inside and is traditionally eaten on Jan. 6 to celebrate the Latin American holiday of Three Kings Day (or Epiphany Day). Local health officials said several people complained of various symptoms, including dizziness, blurred vision, anxiety, palpitations and numbness, after eating the bread from Cholula’s Bakery in Santa Ana, CA. The bakery was closed and had its permit suspended Jan. 7 after an investigation found traces of a cockroach infestation and other problems. However, the permit was reinstated on Jan. 20 after a reinspection by Orange County Health Care Agency officials found those problems had been fixed and that all “open package ingredients of the Rosca de Reyes bread product have been voluntarily condemned and destroyed.” The independent lab tests were done at the request of the Orange County Register. The chemical found, JWH-122, is used to make synthetic pot, which is also called “spice,” “incense” and “K2.” It is commonly diluted with water, sprayed onto herbs and smoked like marijuana. The side effects of using synthetic marijuana can be more severe than those from using real marijuana and include hallucinations, aggressive behavior and hypertension. Smoking the synthetic marijuana known as “spice” has sent thousands of people, mainly teenagers, to hospital emergency rooms across the country, according to the Drug Enforcement Administration.

  • Jennifer Johns

    This just shows how easy it is for someone to contaminate our food supply. If this had been done at a larger commercial bakery that supplies food nationwide there would have been many more illnesses and possible deaths.