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Health officials warn against lead-laden Mexican lollipops

Mexican lollipopsState health officials are warning those with a sweet tooth to steer clear of Vagabundo Paletas, a Mexican lollipop with high levels of lead.

The candy should be discarded immediately and pregnant women or children who have eaten it should consult their physician to see if testing is needed, said Ron Chapman, director of the California Department of Public Health.

Testing showed the lollipops contained as much as 0.61 parts per million of lead. That's six times more than the amount the state considers to be contaminated.

Vagabundo Paletas are sold in colorful plastic bags, with the candy name splashed across the top of the bag in yellow and red letters. The package features a happy cartoon character wearing purple pants, a red jacket and a purple hat. He's walking on railroad tracks, with a brown dog in tow, carrying a large red lollipop over his shoulder.

The candy is imported and distributed by Crown Wholesale in Paramount. The company has initiated a voluntary recall and the state is working with the distributor to clear the marketplace of the contaminated candy.

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-- Esmeralda Bermudez

Photo: Vagabundo Paletas, a Mexican lollipop, contains high levels of lead. Credit: California Department of Public Health

 
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