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Ontario Poison Centre

Fruit pits

Fruit pits


Some fresh fruits, including cherries, plums, peaches, nectarines and apricots have pits that contains cyanide compounds, which are poisonous. If a couple pits are accidentally swallowed, it will not cause poisoning. The pits are more poisonous if they are ground up/crushed or the seeds are chewed. Fruit that has not been pitted should not be blended into a smoothie.

Poisoning Risk

Dependent on the amount swallowed.

Low for small exposures.

Expected Symptoms

  • Possible upset stomach (discomfort, nausea, isolated episode of vomiting or diarrhea).
  • Large/intentional exposures can cause serious symptoms.

Home Treatment

  • Remove any remaining pits from mouth
  • Provide something to drink for dilution.
  • Call the Poison Centre for further advice.


  • Every case is different. OPC is available 24hrs/day to provide information for your individual situation. Call 1-800-268-9017 (Toll-free) or 416-813-5900 (Local).



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