Salsas Contaminated with Lead

Salsas Contaminated with Lead:  Unsafe Hot Sauces Found

Testing conducted by the University of Nevada at Las Vegas (UNLV) has discovered that at least four brands of salsa imported from Mexico actually contained low levels of lead.

Researchers noted that the led levels in these hot sauces were very low, but that any lead is still a problem, and can have a negative effect on a number of organs in the body. Even small amounts of lead can result in poisoning, which can cause neurological problems, especially for children under the age of seven, because their brain is still developing. Lead poisoning can cause learning disabilities and behavioral problems that can affect people for life. In some extreme cases, lead poisoning can cause seizures.

UNLV Researchers purchased 25 bottles of hot sauce that had been imported from Mexico and South America off the shelves at several ethnic markets, two grocery stores and one Las Vegas-area swap meet. The four brands with the lead contamination contained concentrations exceeding Food and Drug Administration standards for unsafe levels of lead in candy. The researchers chose to use the candy standard because there currently is no specific food category for hot sauce. One recommendation of researchers is that the FDA determine and implement benchmark lead safety levels for hot sauces.

Four of those bottles of hot sauce were found to have lead in them. The brands of hot sauces to look out for are Salsa Picante de Chile Habanero, Salsa Chamoy el Chamuqulin, Bufalo Salsa Clasica and El Pato Salsa Picante hot sauce.  No American-produced hot sauces were tested as part of the research. They chose to look at hot sauces imported from Mexico and South America because the same researchers had found lead in some candy imported from Latin America during a study In 2006. That led the Southern Nevada Health District remove several brands of imported candies  more than 1,000 Southern Nevada stores.

The current research found that the main sources of lead in the hot sauces they tested were hot peppers and salt. They noted that peppers can sometimes contract lead from the soil, but it can easily be washed off the peppers.

The Texas Food Contamination Lawyer at Hill Law Firm has significant experience handling cases of food contamination. If you or a loved one has been injured or killed by contaminated food, please call the Texas Food Contamination Lawyer at Hill Law Firm today.

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