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Some Imported Hot Sauces from Mexico Have High Lead Levels

Antilope's picture

Some Imported Hot Sauces from Mexico Have High Lead Levels

Four Hot Sauce Brands With High Lead Levels

Study Finds Dangerous Levels of Lead in Hot Sauces From Mexico
Story from NBC Los Angeles - Jul 24, 2013

Four of the 25 sauces studied contained more than the FDA's standard for lead in food

University of Nevada - Las Vegas (UNLV) researchers tested 25 bottles of hot sauce imported from Mexico and South America. The products were bought in the U.S. at ethnic markets and grocery stores. Four bottles, or 16% of the sample, exceeded U.S. Food and Drug Administration standard for safe levels of lead. The product packaging was also tested because lead in packaging has been known to leach into food.

The four brands of Hot Sauce from Mexico with high lead levels were:

-El Pato - Salsa Picante

-El Yucateco - Salsa Picante de Chile Habanero

-Castillo - Salsa Habanera

-Bufalo - Salsa Clasica


I had 2 of those 4 brands in my fridge, Salsa Picante de Chile Habanero and Bufalo Salsa Clasica. They just went in the trash.

dabrownman's picture

is one of my very favorite's and i put it in many things  :-(  No wonder my apprentice is nuts.

Antilope's picture

This may even be worse than stated in the story. This is what UNLV found with one test. Since it's totally unregulated why should we expect those numbers to always be the case? They could be much lower sometimes and maybe much higher at other times. Without regular quality control, which seems to be lacking, who knows what we were ingesting?

suave's picture

So basically you realize that unless there's more to the story this "study" is BS, right?  In reality they would accumulate multiple samples of every sauce, different batches, different manufacture time and then run the analyses to see if it's a systemic problem, or it's related to particular source of ingredients, or growers, or growing seasons.  Also - why do they apply 0.1 ppm standards for candy or dried fruit to hot sauce?  I can easily eat several ounces of raisins or dried apricots, and often do so - but hot sauce is more often than not is used sparingly, diluted at least hundredfold.  I mean who ever consumes a weigh of one apricot worth of hot sauce at once?

swtgran's picture

An alternative to buying Mexican, is too make your own.  I recently learned how from a site called "hip pressure cooking".

If you have a pressure cooker, it is as easy as can be.  Pick the kind of pepper your like.  Twelve oz. is a good start.  Mix and match, or just go for the heat.  Remove the stems, chop, adding seeds and all, put into pressure cooker, add enough vinegar to barely cover, add about 2 teaspoon of salt. 

I used apple cider vinegar, and a little less than 2 teaspoons pink Himalayan sea salt.  You could use what ever vinegar or salt you like.  Laura suggested a smoked sea salt. 

Bring all this to pressure, adjust heat to maintain pressure for 1 min., if using a stove top cooker.  Set for 1 min. if using an electric cooker.  Release pressure naturally.  Using a hand blender, puree mixture.  Be careful not to breathe the vapors.  Press through a fine strainer.  You can use the remaining pulp for other recipes that you want some heat. 

My husband is the hot sauce eater.  He was actually excited about the prospect of being in control of the heat.  terry