August 19, 2022

Rosca de Reyes Bread Contaminated with Synthetic Marijuana

More than 30 people were sickened in January 2015 after eating Rosca de Reyes bread produced at Cholula’s Bakery in Santa Ana, California. The bread is also known as King Cake and is made with candied fruit and a baby Jesus figurine. It is eaten as part of the Latin American celebration of Three Kings Day.

Recall SignageSymptoms included palpitations, dizziness, and numbness. Lab results were released after an investigation found that the bread was deliberately contaminated with a synthetic drug called “K2″or “spice” that is an artificial component of the main ingredient in marijuana.

This chemical looks like pot, but side effects from ingesting it are more severe. The particular strain put in this bread is JWH-122, which is illegal in the U.S. Thousands of people are sickened by this drug every year and sent to emergency rooms for care. The drug can cause hallucinations, high blood pressure, and aggressive behavior.

Neil Spingarn, of S&N Laboratories where the bread was tested, said “the levels in the cake are not small. What is most striking is that this was not inadvertent.”

Cholula’s Bakery was closed on January 7, 2014 and its permit was suspended. The permit was reinstated on January 20, 2014 after Orange County officials inspected the facility.

If you purchased any Rosca de Reyes bread from Cholula’s Bakery, discard it in a sealed container so other people and animals can’t eat it. If you did eat the bread and got sick, contact the Santa Ana Police Department at 714-245-8390.

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