An apricot product sold in a Christchurch market could cause cyanide poisoning and cardiac arrest.

The Ministry for Primary Industries has issued a recall notice for the raw apricot kernels and confirmed three people have already been admitted to hospital as a precaution.

The ministry is warning anyone who purchased the product at Ethnic Market in Linwood to throw them out or return them due to the health risks.

Ministry national manager food compliance Melinda Sando said Ethnic Market Brand Apricot Pites (kernels) had been removed from sale at Ethnic Market while the product was traced to see where else it was available.

Advertisement

Three people were admitted to hospital as a precaution and since been discharged after eating the raw kernels, she confirmed.

Three people have been admitted to hospital after eating the raw apricot kernels. Photo / File
Three people have been admitted to hospital after eating the raw apricot kernels. Photo / File

"In the meantime, we are advising that if people have purchased these kernels they should throw them out, or return them to the place where they were bought."

The sale of raw apricot kernels is prohibited under New Zealand food law.

"Raw apricot kernels contain a naturally occurring toxin which can break down to release cyanide when eaten. This can be harmful depending on the amount consumed.

"It can cause a wide range of symptoms ranging from nausea, stomach aches, headaches and respiratory symptoms through to cardiac arrest, depending on the amount eaten and can be serious, especially in children."

If you are concerned about your health or believe you have been affected, please talk to your doctor.

For information on the affected product see the Recall page.

Information is available about raw apricot kernels on our MPI website.

Advertisement