Recall issued for apricot kernel products due to potential cyanide poisoning

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Organic Traditions dried bitter apricot kernels is one of several products recalled because of the possibility of cyanide poisoning. (Submitted by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency - image credit)
Organic Traditions dried bitter apricot kernels is one of several products recalled because of the possibility of cyanide poisoning. (Submitted by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency - image credit)

A recall is being issued for some apricot kernel products that may cause cyanide poisoning.

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency released the warning on Friday. It says seven different apricot products are included and should not be eaten or sold.

Apricot kernels contain a natural toxin called amygdalin, which can release cyanide after being eaten. In small quantities it is naturally eliminated by the human body, but in larger amounts it can result in poisoning and death.

The agency said symptoms of cyanide poisoning include weakness and confusion, anxiety, restlessness, headache, nausea, difficulty breathing and shortness of breath, loss of consciousness, seizures and cardiac arrest.

The products affected range in size and brand:

  • Apricot Power, bitter raw apricot seeds.

  • Chen-Chen, dried apricot north almond seeds.

  • Double Happiness, dried apricot seed mix.

  • Earth Notions, raw bitter apricot kernels.

  • Natural Herbs Trading Co., Ltd., bitter apricot kernels.

  • Organic Traditions, dried bitter apricot kernels.

  • Surrey Natural Foods, organic bitter apricot kernels.

Some products are sold across Canada while others are only available in certain provinces. Full details, including package sizes, expiration dates and UPC codes can be found on the CFIA's website.

Recalls for similar apricot kernel pit products have been issued in recent years, including a warning for seeds and seed meal in 2019.

The products should be thrown out or returned to where the product was purchased.

The agency is investigating and verifying that the affected products are removed from stores.