California public health officials are warning consumers not to eat Red Vines black licorice candy because it contains high levels of lead, the Associated Press reports. The California Department of Public Health issued the warning Wednesday against 16-ounce bags of Red Vines Black Licorice Twists with the label “Best Before 020413.” Consumers in possession of the candy should discard it immediately, the agency says.

The manufacturer, American Licorice Co. of Union City, Calif., has issued a voluntary recall for the tainted batch, which contains more than twice the recommended daily limit of lead for young children, according to testing by the CDPH. Authorities further advise pregnant women and parents of small children who have recently eaten the licorice to contact their doctors.

Red Vines Black Licorice Twists candy is sold in a one-pound package that is light red with the Red Vines name in bold white letters. The black licorice candy shows through the package. The words “Black Licorice Twists” appear toward the bottom of the package. The bag also boasts, “No preservatives and always fat free.” Too bad it can't say the same thing about lead.

Additional information, including photos of the affected product, is available on the CDPH website. Consumers who find this candy for sale should call the CDPH Complaint Hotline at 1-800-495-3232.

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LA Weekly