Cinnamon Brands Begin Voluntary Recall After FDA Issues Advisory for Lead Contamination

Continued concerns about lead found in cinnamon has sparked an FDA-led voluntary recall of cinnamon products and a reminder about food safety regulations.

Anna Garrison - Author

Mar. 12 2024, Updated 10:45 a.m. ET

Bowl of powdered cinnamon and cinnamon sticks.
Source: iStock

Whether you use cinnamon to welcome in a new month or in your favorite recipes, this spice is a household staple for many. However, like all beloved foods in your pantry, there are times when the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issues recalls to warn the public about safety issues with their products.

Article continues below advertisement

In March 2024, the FDA issued an advisory for six brands of cinnamon commonly found at discount stores for potentially containing lead. Here's what you need to know about the brands and the recall, explained.

Close-up photo of cinnamon sticks.
Source: iStock
Article continues below advertisement

The FDA has recommended voluntary recalls of cinnamon at 6 locations for possibly containing lead.

As of March 12, 2024, several of the brands listed in the FDA's March 6 advisory have begun voluntary recalls of their cinnamon products. These brands include Supreme Tradition and El Chilar, according to Newsweek.

On March 6, 2024, the FDA released several action items following a previous recall regarding lead in apple cinnamon fruit pouches.

First, the FDA sent a letter to cinnamon distributors and manufacturers in the U.S. reminding them of mandatory safety precautions to prevent food contamination. Then, it recommended a voluntary recall of cinnamon products sold by multiple brands at six retail locations.

Article continues below advertisement

So far, one of the cinnamon manufacturers, MTCI, which distributes MK cinnamon, has not responded to the FDA's request, according to NPR. However, the other five brands are as follows:

  • El Chilar Apopka brand, lot #F275EX1026; D300EX1024, sold at La Joya Morelense in Baltimore.
  • Supreme Tradition brand with best by codes 09/29/25 09E8; 04/17/25 04E11; 12/19/25 12C2; 04/12/25 04ECB12; 08/24/25 08A_ _; 04/21/25 04E5; and 2025-09-22 09E20, sold at Family Dollar and Dollar Tree by the Colonna Brothers.
  • SWAD brand, lot #KX21223 and best before July 2026, sold by Patel Brothers.
  • Marcum brand, with best by codes 10/16/25 10 DB; 04/06/25 0400B1, sold by Save A Lot.
  • La Fiesta Food Products, lot #25033, sold by La Superior Supermercados.
Cinnamon sticks atop cinnamon powder with a wooden scoop.
Source: iStock
Article continues below advertisement

The FDA wrote, "It is important to note that the lead levels found in the ground cinnamon products listed above are significantly lower than lead levels in cinnamon in the recalled apple sauce pouches removed from the market this past fall."

The lead levels in the cinnamon are roughly 2,000 ppm to 5,000 ppm lower than the lead found in the fruit pouches, so the health concerns aren't as severe as they were for the pouch recall.

Thankfully, however, as of writing, there have been 0 illnesses associated with the cinnamon recall.

Article continues below advertisement
Bowl of cinnamon powder and cinnamon sticks.
Source: iStock

Deputy Commissioner for Human Foods Jim Jones added to the FDA press release by stating, "Food growers, manufacturers, importers and retailers share a responsibility for ensuring the safety of the foods that reach store shelves. The levels of lead we found in some ground cinnamon products are too high and we must do better to protect those most vulnerable to the negative health outcomes of exposure to elevated levels of lead."

The FDA has created initiatives to reduce food contaminants, such as Closer to Zero, in which the FDA has been urging members of Congress to require manufacturers to test items marked for consumption before they end up in the hands of consumers. Unfortunately, under current federal law, such testing is not required.

This article, published on March 8, 2024, has been updated.

More from Green Matters

Latest Food News and Updates

    Opt-out of personalized ads

    © Copyright 2024 Green Matters. Green Matters is a registered trademark. All Rights Reserved. People may receive compensation for some links to products and services on this website. Offers may be subject to change without notice.