US Standards for Lead Levels in Candy

On 22 August 2012, the California Department of Public Health announced that a candy was found to have an excessive amount of lead in it .
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Sept. 14, 2012 - PRLog -- For years, the California Department of Public Health found many different candies to be lead-contaminated and issued several health alerts on their website.  Now, under the Food Modernization and Safety Act, the US Food and Drug Administration (US FDA) is obligated to review all State recalls and determine if a national recall is warranted.

In December 2005, the US FDA changed the lead in candy likely to be consumed by small children requirement from ≤0.5 ppm to ≤0.1 ppm . California has codified that lead in candy excessive of natural amounts is considered adulterated. In California, the legal limits for lead in candy were set in the 2005 Lead in Candy Bill ([backPid]=5&cHash=fa5d12e170).

The regulation and code in California further states that until this lead level has been determined by regulation, then this level of lead will be determined by the Attorney General of California. The Attorney General of California can establish this level of lead based on scientific consensus or can use a level that has been set forth in a consent agreement . In 2004, some candy companies agreed to a settlement (consent agreement) under Proposition 65 that established a requirement in California for all candies to ≤0.1 ppm of lead .

This California regulation, code and settlement created a printed food contact candy packaging lead requirement of ≤20 ppm. This requirement does not apply to other food contact materials that have a lower lead standard such as ceramic packaging.

About SGS Food Safety Services

SGS can test for lead in candy, lead in ingredients used for candy and lead in printed wrappers in laboratories around the globe. Lead testing can be performed at SGS by using traditional atomic absorption (AA) equipment or the more advanced inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (ICP-MS) equipment.

SGS is committed to keeping you informed of regulatory news and developments. Leveraging the global network of laboratories and food experts, SGS provides a comprehensive range of food safety and quality solutions including analytical testing, audits, certifications, inspections and technical support. SGS continually invests in world class testing capabilities and state-of-the-art technology to help you reduce risks, and improve food safety and quality (


For further information about lead standards in candy please contact the SGS experts.

Contact details:

SGS Consumer Testing Services

James Cook
Food Safety Technologist
291 Fairfield Ave, Fairfield
New Jersey 07004, USA

t: +1 973 575 5252

SGS is the world’s leading inspection, verification, testing and certification company. SGS is recognized as the global benchmark for quality and integrity. With 70,000 employees, SGS operates a network of over 1,350 offices and laboratories around the world.
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