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CANADA: Health Canada reminds Canadians of health risks from apricot kernels

Adults should eat no more than three per day, ground and mixed with other foods, and children should not eat any
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ApricotKernels
Health Canada regulations limiting the maximum level of cyanide in apricot kernels is now in effect and stores should remove non-compliant products from shelves by Jan. 25

NEWS RELEASE
HEALTH CANADA
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OTTAWA - As announced last July, Health Canada has established a maximum level (ML) of 20 parts per million for total extractable cyanide in apricot kernels sold in Canada as food. The new ML comes into effect on Jan. 25, 2020.

Health Canada and the Canadian Food Inspection Agency have notified industry that apricot kernels that do not meet the ML cannot be sold in stores or used in other foods once the ML comes into effect.

Retail stores should remove and dispose of any non-compliant products by Jan. 25, 2020. Should Canadians have any questions about whether certain food products meet the ML, they should contact manufacturers or sellers directly. 

For Canadians who bought apricot kernels before Jan. 25, 2020, adults should eat no more than three per day, ground and mixed with other foods, and children should not eat any.

Canadians who experience symptoms associated with cyanide poisoning should seek medical attention immediately. Symptoms include weakness and confusion, anxiety, restlessness, headache, nausea, difficulty breathing and shortness of breath, loss of consciousness, seizures, and cardiac arrest.

Canadians are encouraged to report any food safety or labelling concerns to the Canadian Food Inspection Agency.

Summary

Product: Apricot kernels Issue: Health Canada has established a maximum level (ML) of 20 parts per million for total extractable cyanide in apricot kernels sold in Canada as food. As of Jan. 25, 2020, apricot kernels that exceed the ML will not be allowed for sale in Canada.

What to do: Should Canadians have any questions about whether certain food products meet the ML, they should contact manufacturers or sellers directly. For Canadians who bought apricot kernels before Jan. 25, 2020, adults should eat no more than three per day, ground and mixed with other foods, and children should not eat any. Canadians who experience symptoms associated with cyanide poisoning should seek medical attention immediately.

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