Black licorice is a decorative material, the primary purpose of which is to create dark and winding roads leading up to gingerbread homes at Christmastime. Sadly, millions of Americans accidentally ingest it each year.

Now the LA Times reports that the American Licorice Company (which also manufactures delicious Red Vines licorice candies) has issued a voluntary recall of its Black Licorice Twists after discovering they contained dangerously high levels of lead.

Because black licorice tastes like anger and betrayal, unwitting consumers might not even notice that the candy is more lead-flavored than usual. However, the California Department of Public Health has determined that the twists contained more than double the amount of lead deemed healthy for children.

Children under 6 should not consume more than 6 micrograms of lead per day, because they'll become spoiled and demand lead constantly. The licorice twists contain 13.2 micrograms.

A statement on the American Licorice Company website apologized for selling everyone poison, deciding after the fact that, "Safety is the number one priority for our company."

Because taste is not the number one priority, the company has no plans to stop producing black licorice.

[LA Times // Shutterstock]