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No health concerns in chocolate products tested for lead: CFIA


July 7, 2014
By Bakers Journal

July 7, 2014, Ottawa – A survey released today found no detectable lead or low
levels of lead in samples of candy, chocolate and cocoa powder.

July 7, 2014, Ottawa – A survey released today found no detectable lead or low
levels of lead in samples of candy, chocolate and cocoa powder.

As part of
the Canadian Food Inspection Agency's (CFIA) routine testing of various
food products, Health
Canada determined that the low lead levels detected in this survey are
not expected to pose a safety concern to consumers.

The
CFIA tested a total of 297 samples for this targeted survey. Low lead
levels were detected in 60 per cent of the samples ranging from 0.0032
to 0.2359 parts per million.

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Lead
is naturally present in the environment and also has many industrial
uses. Canadians can be exposed to low levels of lead through food,
drinking water, air, dust, soil, and consumer products. The
concentrations of lead reported in this survey are comparable to those
in similar types of foods available in the Canadian market, suggesting
that the lead concentrations in these types of products may be as low as
reasonably achievable. Frequent consumption of the products included in
this survey is not expected to represent a health risk.

No product recalls were warranted given the lack of health concern.

Quick facts

  • The
    CFIA tested a total of 297 samples including 24 cocoa powder (intended
    for baking, not milk/hot chocolate mixes), 124 chocolate (e.g., baking
    chocolate, chocolate bars, chocolate chips) and 149 candy (e.g.,
    marshmallows, gummy candies, hard candies and lollipops) samples.

  • Lead
    occurs naturally in the environment and, due to its widespread
    presence, can enter the food chain through various pathways such as
    uptake from the soil and deposition of airborne lead, as well as from
    man-made uses (i.e., processing equipment).

  • All
    food industries are expected to minimize the presence of lead by any
    and all processes available to them. This is consistent with the Food
    Directorate of Health Canada's policy that the levels of lead in food
    should be ALARA (As Low As Reasonably Achievable).