BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) - A local case of lead poisoning has led to a nationwide recall, thanks to the Erie County Health Department.
Investigators began looking into why a little girl in Buffalo had an elevated level of lead in her blood in early October. Officials say the family are refugees who have resettled in the city's west side.
After examining the family's home and finding negative results, investigators began to look at the family's food source and discovered turmeric, a spice used frequently in their diet and manufactured in Bangladesh, had high levels of lead.
The Erie County Health Department sent samples to the Food and Drug Administration, which found the spice had lead at 28 parts per million. The FDA recommends for candy likely to be consumed by small children that levels of lead be no higher than .1 parts per million.
As a result of the work for the Erie County Health Department, Pran turmeric powder is being recalled.
"It's caused the FDA to take pause and think about how they're going to regulate importation of other spices outside the United States because there's really no standard now for resting and regulation," Erie County Health Commissioner Dr. Gail Burstein said.
Turmeric is often used in foods from Southeast Asia, such as curry. The girl is now doing fine.
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