Hazardous Products: Foods and Spices

Lead may be added to foods or spices at any point along the supply chain. It can come from contaminated soil or manufacturing equipment. Lead can also be added as a coloring agent or to increase product weight.


Some spices bought in or sent from Georgia, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Nepal and Morocco can contain high levels of lead, even when lead is not listed as an ingredient on the label. Spices purchased abroad are more likely to have high lead levels than similar products sold in the United States. To reduce the risk of lead exposure, buy your spices locally.

Other Food Items

Lead may also be in candies, salt snack mixes and other snacks from Mexico that use chili or tamarind pulp.

If you use these types of spices or foods, call your doctor to request a blood test for lead. If you do not have a doctor, call 311.

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