Canadian Food Inspection Agency

Canadian Food Inspection Agency

July 04, 2014 14:39 ET

No Health Concerns Found in Candy, Chocolate and Cocoa Powder Tested for Lead

CFIA tests over 250 samples

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwired - July 4, 2014) - Canadian Food Inspection Agency

As part of the Canadian Food Inspection Agency's (CFIA) routine testing of various food products, a survey released today found no detectable lead or low levels of lead in samples of candy, chocolate and cocoa powder. Health Canada determined that the low lead levels detected in this survey are not expected to pose a safety concern to consumers.

The CFIA tested a total of 297 samples for this targeted survey. Low lead levels were detected in 60 per cent of the samples ranging from 0.0032 to 0.2359 parts per million.

Lead is naturally present in the environment and also has many industrial uses. Canadians can be exposed to low levels of lead through food, drinking water, air, dust, soil, and consumer products. The concentrations of lead reported in this survey are comparable to those in similar types of foods available in the Canadian market, suggesting that the lead concentrations in these types of products may be as low as reasonably achievable. Frequent consumption of the products included in this survey is not expected to represent a health risk.

No product recalls were warranted given the lack of health concern.

Quick Facts

  • The CFIA tested a total of 297 samples including 24 cocoa powder (intended for baking, not milk/hot chocolate mixes), 124 chocolate (e.g., baking chocolate, chocolate bars, chocolate chips) and 149 candy (e.g., marshmallows, gummy candies, hard candies and lollipops) samples.

  • Lead occurs naturally in the environment and, due to its widespread presence, can enter the food chain through various pathways such as uptake from the soil and deposition of airborne lead, as well as from man-made uses (i.e., processing equipment).

  • All food industries are expected to minimize the presence of lead by any and all processes available to them. This is consistent with the Food Directorate of Health Canada's policy that the levels of lead in food should be ALARA (As Low As Reasonably Achievable).

Related Products

2011-2012 Lead in Candy, Chocolate and Cocoa Powder

Associated Links

Chemical Residues / Microbiology Targeted Surveys

Food and Nutrition - Lead

Contact Information

  • Michael Bolkenius
    Press Secretary
    Office of the Minister of Health

    Media Relations
    Canadian Food Inspection Agency