The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has issued an alert that Aroma Imports Inc., located in Dearborn Heights, Michigan, is recalling 450-gram and 4.5-kilogram packages of Nabelsi Brand Thyme. Both the FDA and the Environmental Health Protection division of the Illinois Department of Public Health found excessive levels of lead in this product during testing. According to the FDA, the calculated amount of lead contained in a 30-gram serving size of the thyme is 12,660 µg per serving. The daily limits of lead that are safe for people to consume are 6 µg per day for children, 25 µg per day for pregnant women, and 75 µg per day for healthy adults.
When lead accumulates in the body over time, it can cause severe damage to the nervous system and internal organs. Although people with high levels of lead in their blood may initially be asymptomatic, acute lead poisoning can eventually cause muscle weakness, abdominal pain, vomiting, nausea, diarrhea, weight loss, and compromised / bloody urinary output. Lead poisoning is particular harmful to children, in whom it can cause delays in physical and / or cognitive development. At large levels, it can be fatal.
Two cases of lead poisoning have been associated with ingestion of Nabelsi Thyme thus far. The affected products were distributed from November 7, 2016 through February 22, 2017 to retailers, wholesalers, and food service providers in Illinois, Michigan, New Jersey, Ohio, and Virginia.
The 450-gram bags of the thyme are constructed of non-transparent green foil / mylar, distributed in 24-item cases, and marked with the UPC Code of 4670000205314. The 4.5-kilogram packages, silver foil / mylar bags packed in 2-item cases, have the UPC Code: 6670000205374. Both sizes of packages are marked with a production date of 08/20/2016 and an expiration date of 08/20/2018 – these dates are on the back lower left corner of the 450-gram package and the back lower right corner of the 4.5-kilogram package.
It is strongly urged that people who have bought this product not consume it. Instead, it should be returned to the place of purchase for a complete refund.