Makzemo LLC of Brooklyn, NY, is recalling Balquis Yemeni spice, because it has the potential to be contaminated with lead.

“The recall was a result of the New York City Department of Health circulating a flyer about the product and visiting a few retail stores and informing them of the findings.

“The company has ceased the production and distribution of the product as FDA and the company continue their investigation as to what caused the problem,” according to a company recall notice posted with the Food and Drug Administration.

The company distributed the Balquis Yemeni spice in Michigan and the five boroughs of New York through retail supermarkets and grocery stores. The spice is packaged in clear plastic containers of 230 grams and 454 grams, and also in clear 5-pound plastic bags. The product is yellowish/brown in color, according to the recall.

The company did not include any product photos with the recall notice.

As of the posting of the notice there had not been any confirmed illnesses or adverse effects reported in connection with consumption of the spice. 

However, infants, young children and the developing fetus can be affected by chronic exposure to amounts of lead that may not result in obvious symptoms of lead poisoning. 

A child with lead poisoning may not look or act sick. Lead poising in children can cause: learning disabilities, developmental delays, and lower IQ scores, according to the recall notice.

Lead is a toxic substance and exposure can cause lead poisoning. While lead can affect nearly every bodily system, its effects depend upon the amount of and duration of lead exposure and age of the person exposed, according to the recall notice.

Symptoms of lead poisoning can include abdominal pain, vomiting, lethargy, irritability, weakness, behavior or mood changes, delirium, seizures, and coma. 

Consumers who have purchased the recalled Balquis Yemeni spice are urged to return it to the place of purchase for a full refund. Consumers with questions may contact the company at 917-444-2211.

(To sign up for a free subscription to Food Safety News, click here.)