The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) has issued a warning about certain apricot kernel products packed by Wah Yan Tong, as they contain excessive amygdalin which may cause acute cyanide poisoning. This warning was triggered by CFIA test results.

Earlier this month the Canadian agency announced a recall of other apricot pits.

Apricot kernels, the pit of the fruit, naturally contain amygdalin, which can release cyanide after being eaten. The human body can eliminate small amounts of cyanide, but larger amounts can result in cyanide poisoning, which could lead to death. Some health officials in other countries say as few as three small pits can cause poisoning.

Products included in warning:

Brand Product Size UPC Codes
None (Chinese characters only) Bitter Apricot Kernels 150 g 6 28110 69950 3

Best Before


None (Chinese characters only) Sweet Apricot Kernels 150 g 6 28110 69948 0

Best Before


As of the posting of this article, there have been no reported illnesses associated with the consumption of these products.

Consumers should check to see if you have the affected products in their home. If the affected products are in their home, they should not be consumed.

If a consumer thinks they became sick from the product, they should call their doctor immediately.

Cyanide poisoning
Symptoms of cyanide poisoning include weakness and confusion, anxiety, restlessness, headache, nausea, difficulty breathing and shortness of breath, loss of consciousness, seizures and cardiac arrest.

A 2016 European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) opinion found eating more than three small raw apricot kernels, or less than half of one large kernel, in a serving can exceed safe levels. Some sellers promote them as a cancer-fighting food and promote intake of 10 and 60 kernels per day for the general population and cancer patients, respectively.

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