Baltimore (February 20, 2013) -- The Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (DHMH) today urged consumers not to consume any spice product from Nina International labeled as “Ground Akanwu” or “Akanwu Lubi.” As part of a recent investigation, a number of samples of Akanwu Lubi were tested by the DHMH and found to contain significant levels of lead ranging from 1 to 18 parts per million (ppm). “Akanwu Lubi” is a naturally occurring mineral imported from Nigeria that is used in African cuisine as a spice, soup thickener and a tenderizer for meat and fish.
On learning of the Department‘s findings, Nina International (based in Hyattsville, MD) has initiated a voluntary recall of these products. Nina International is urging customers who have purchased “Ground Akanwu” and “Akanwu Lubi” to return it to the place of purchase for a full refund. Retail outlets are strongly encouraged to pull these items off their shelves for pickup by Nina International. These products were distributed in Maryland, Virginia and Washington, D.C.
Consumers who have questions about the recall should contact Nina International at (301) 768-7391.
Consumers who have health-related questions about the use of these products should contact their health care provider or DHMH’s environmental health toll free help line, 1-866-703-3266.
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