LOS ANGELES, Calif. -


California health officials are warning consumers not to eat black licorice twist candies made by Red Vines because they contain too much lead.

California Department of Public Health Director Dr. Ron Chapman says tests found that packages with a best before Feb. 4, 2013 date have lead levels that exceed state standards.

Chapman says analysis found a serving of the candy could provide up to 13.2 micrograms of lead.

The state says pregnant women and children under 6 shouldn't consume more than 6.0 micrograms of lead per day.

The candies are sold in a one-pound package and are labeled "Black Licorice Twists" under the Red Vines label, manufactured and distributed by American Licorice Co. of Union City, Calif.

Health officials say the licorice was distributed inside and outside of California. They're working with the company to determine where it was shipped.

Authorities say pregnant women and parents of small children should contact their health care provider if they have recently eaten the licorice.


The company has initiated a voluntary recall of the affected lot.