The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has warned people not to eat certain confectionery products imported from Mexico due to fears about lead contamination.
The FDA said it has compiled information that indicates that candies and related products that contain significant amounts of chili powder may contain higher lead levels than other types of candy, such as candy that contains predominantly sugar.
In addition, the FDA said that tamarind, a popular Mexican candy item, can become contaminated with lead if it is sold in poorly-made glazed ceramic vessels that release lead from the glaze into the candy.
Lead consumption can result in delayed mental and physical development in children.
The FDA said it believes that the lead contamination of chili powder may be occurring at certain steps in the manufacturing process and it will be working with the Mexican government and food industry to resolve the problem.