A sensitive and simple solid phase extraction method for the simultaneous determination of trace and toxic metals in food samples has been reported. The method is based on the adsorption of zinc, nickel, iron and lead on sodium dodecyl sulfate (SDS)-coated alumina, which is also chelated with bis (2-hydroxyacetophenone)-1, 3-propanediimine (BHAPN). The retained analyte ions on modified solid phase were eluted using 8 mL of 4 mol L(-1) HNO(3). The analyte determinations were carried out by flame atomic absorption spectrometry. The influences of some metal ions and anions on the recoveries of understudy analyte ions were investigated. The proposed method has been successfully applied for the evaluation of these trace and toxic metals in some traditional food samples from Iran. (C) 2009 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.