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Lead levels in Spices

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Posted 21 September 2017 - 06:02 PM

I am looking for any type of information regarding the limits of lead in spices specific. The FDA does not have a set limits except for candy at 0.1ppm. However, in 2013 they initiated a recall for Tumeric that had levels of 43ppm. I guess my question is what levels are harmful? I need to create a testing protocol that ensures the product I receive is safe.


Any help would be greatly appreciated.




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Posted 22 September 2017 - 04:04 PM

When FDA hasn't set a limit, I tend to go with EU recommendations as a source, since many of them are Codex based.


EU regs for lead content here: http://eur-lex.europ...0150521&from=EN


Select a level that you can actually meet in a food where you can argue the limit can be extended to from consumption patterns. Spices are consumed in small amounts, and I see the EU set a limit for "food supplements at 3ppm". That might seem reasonable to extend to spices but I haven't done the consumption comparison to see. It would certainly support the 43ppm recall though given that the 3ppm is the highest permissible limit on the list.

Austin Bouck
Owner/Consultant at Fur, Farm, and Fork.
Consulting for companies needing effective, lean food safety systems and solutions.

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