In the summer of 2016, food inspectors at the New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets making routine samplings of products found excessive levels of lead in Fresh Finds brand turmeric. Gel Spice, Inc., the company that produced the turmeric, recalled the product. A month later, the recall was widened, to six more brands that had been made from the same tainted lot of turmeric.
The recall was so wide because Gel Spice produces spice products for large national companies, including Target, Big Lots, and Walmart. This means that the lead-contaminated products put consumers at risk throughout the country.
Gel Spice’s website says it uses an “in-house steam sterilization process for microbial reduction, and maintain[s] an in-house Lab for pathogen testing to ensure safe and superior products. We also employ throughout our facilities quality assurance programs…” but apparently it did not have any means of noticing lead contamination.
Lead is a toxic substance that can cause delayed mental and physical development and learning deficiencies. Pregnant women, babies, and young children are particularly at risk. Although there were no reports of illness from the products, lead can build up in the body over time, and there is currently no means of removing it. This means that any damage caused by lead can be irreversible.
A class action has been filed on behalf of Californians who bought the tainted turmeric, and we are investigating the possibility of a lawsuit to cover consumers elsewhere the country. If you purchased any of the tainted turmeric products listed below and still have it, please fill out the form on this page and let us know.
- Fresh Finds (Big Lots) Ground Turmeric, 3.75 oz., UPC Code 81026-01230
- Spice Select (Wal-Mart) Ground Turmeric, 8 oz. UPC Code 076114007730
- Market Pantry (Target) Ground Turmeric, 0.95 oz. UPC Code 085239211038
- Gel Ground Turmeric, 15 oz., UPC Code 076114890867
- Clear Value Ground Turmeric, 0.75 oz., UPC Code 036800354920
- Lieber’s Turmeric, 2 oz., UPC Code 043427006361
- Spice Supreme Ground Turmeric, 2 oz., 076114364628