Apricot kernels are being recalled over risk of cyanide poisoning

TORONTO — The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) has issued a nationwide recall for a brand of apricot kernels, warning that they may cause cyanide poisoning.

The Bitter Apricot Kernels and the Extremely Bitter Apricot Kernels from the brand Our Father’s Farm have been affected by this recall. The products in question come in 454-gram, 908-gram and 1.8-kilogram quantities and have a best before date of Jan. 31, 2022. The products may have been sold online and in stores.

The CFIA is urging anyone who has these affected products in their home to not consume them.

Health Canada says apricot kernels contain a naturally occurring amount of cyanogenic glycosides. The human body can detoxify small amounts of cyanide, but cyanide poisoning can occur if consumed in larger amounts. Health Canada allows for 20 parts per million of extractable cyanide in apricot kernel products sold as food.

Symptoms of cyanide poisoning include weakness, confusion, anxiety, restlessness, headache, nausea, difficulty breathing. In more serious cases, cyanide poisoning can lead to shortness of breath, loss of consciousness, seizures, and cardiac arrest.

This isn’t the first time in recent months that the CFIA has issued a recall affecting apricot kernels. Back in March, the CFIA recalled 10 different apricot kernel products, also over concerns that they may cause cyanide poisoning.

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