Recall: raw apricot kernels a toxic risk

Food Standards Australia New Zealand (FSANZ) ordered the supplier of the kernels, ChiTree, to withdraw them from sale after tests found the product contained high levels of a toxin that can release hydrocyanic acid, a cyanide
compound, in the gut.

A person presented to hospital suffering adverse reactions after consuming a large quantity of the product, a spokesperson for FSANZ said.

Doctors were being asked to be alert to the symptoms of toxicity from raw apricot kernels (laetrile) including nausea, headaches and dizziness, the spokesperson said.

Testing by state and territory health authorities found some apricot kernels contained high levels of hydrocyanic acid, FSANZ warned in a statement.

“Adults eating as few as four of these kernels a day could become very ill – children should not eat any,” the regulator said.

ChiTree said in a notice on its website that raw, bitter apricot kernels