Packs of organic apricot kernels have been withdrawn because wrong labels fail to warn of cyanide poisoning risk if too many are eaten.
The Food Standards Agency recommend no more than two kernels are eaten a day because of a long-term build up of cyanide, a natural toxin in bitter apricot kernels.
But 175g packs of organic apricot kernels from Ireland-based Nua Naturals have been wrongly labelled advising to consume “no more than three to five kernels daily.”
Sold through health food stores, apricot kernels, like most nuts and seeds, are packed with nutrients such as amygdalin, or vitamin B17 which many claim attacks cancer cells.
Bitter apricot kernels have long been used in traditional Chinese medicine to relieve coughs, asthma and improve bowel function.
But when metabolised amygdalin produces hydrogen cyanide.
Although amygdalin is found in apple, grape, cherry, peach and nectarine pips, only bitter apricot kernels. have such high high concentrations.
The FSA said: “Nua Naturals is recalling batches of Organic Apricot Kernels as the recommended usage on the label incorrectly advises to consume ‘No more than three to five kernels daily.’
“We advise consumption of bitter apricot kernels should not exceed one to two kernels per adult per day due to potential acute and long term toxic effects associated with cyanide, which is found as a natural toxin in bitter apricot kernels.
“Due to the potential acute and long term toxic effects associated with cyanide, the FSA advises that the consumption of apricot kernels should not exceed one to two kernels per adult per day, as doses above this could cause an acute health risk.
“Nua Naturals has recalled the above products and issued point-of-sale notices to stores selling the products, requesting customers who have bought this product to return it to the store of purchase.
“Consumers are advised not to consume any of the above product, and return the affected products to the store of purchase.
The company based in Galway said: “Nua Naturals are recalling our Organic Apricot Kernels 175g due to an update in labelling recommendations as directed by the FSA.
“The reason is the usage of “No more than 3 to 5 per day” which is above the maximum level of 1 to 2 per day as recommended by the FSA in order to avoid any potential health risk.
“We apologise for any inconvenience that this may have caused.”
The affected packets have the ‘Best before’ end: May 2017 with batch codes: 150929, 151117, 160119 and ‘Best before’ end: November 2016 with batch codes: 150629, 150129, 150410.
No other Nua Naturals products are known to be affected.