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FDA Issues Safety Alert for Children’s Food Items Over Concentrations of Lead in Product

Parents and Caregivers Told To Not Use Product, Potential Health Risks Identified

By Dolores Quintana

The US Food and Drug Administration has issued an alert for parents and caregivers of toddlers and young children who have recently purchased WanaBana apple cinnamon fruit puree pouches. The alert covers all WanaBana apple cinnamon fruit puree pouches, all lot codes, and expiration dates. These pouches are sold nationally and available through multiple retailers, including Amazon, Dollar Tree, and other online outlets. 

Two additional brands of products are also subject to recall: certain Schnucks cinnamon-flavored applesauce pouches and variety packs and certain Weis cinnamon applesauce pouches. Schnucks brand cinnamon-flavored applesauce pouches and variety packs are sold at Schnucks and Eatwell Markets grocery stores. Weis brand cinnamon applesauce pouches are sold at Weis grocery stores. The products have been distributed nationwide. 

The FDA has received information regarding a potential safety concern with WanaBana apple cinnamon fruit puree pouches. An investigation by the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services (NCDHHS) detected extremely high levels of lead in the WanaBana product and WanaBana has voluntarily initiated a recall for all their apple cinnamon fruit puree pouches, irrespective of their expiration dates. The FDA has received seven reports of illnesses and is working to evaluate those complaints. The investigation is ongoing to determine the source of lead contamination and whether additional products are linked to illnesses. The FDA will update this advisory as information becomes available. 

The FDA strongly advises parents and caregivers not to purchase or feed WanaBana apple cinnamon fruit puree pouches to children due to the potential presence of elevated lead levels. If you suspect that your child may have consumed these pouches, we recommend reaching out to your child’s healthcare provider to arrange for a blood test.

Lead is harmful to individuals of all ages and health statuses. Detecting lead exposure in children can be challenging, as many children may not display immediate symptoms. However, potential signs and symptoms of lead toxicity can include:

Short-term exposure:

  • Headache
  • Abdominal pain/Colic
  • Vomiting
  • Anemia

Longer-term exposure:

  • Irritability
  • Lethargy
  • Fatigue
  • Muscle aches or muscle prickling/burning
  • Occasional abdominal discomfort
  • Constipation
  • Difficulty concentrating/Muscular exhaustibility
  • Tremor
  • Weight loss

The FDA has been alerted to an ongoing investigation by the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services (NCDHHS) and the North Carolina Department of Agriculture & Consumer Services (NCDA&CS) concerning four children with elevated blood lead levels, potentially indicating acute lead toxicity. The NCDHHS investigation identified WanaBana apple cinnamon fruit puree pouches as a possible source of exposure. During their inquiry, NCDHHS detected extraordinarily high lead concentrations in multiple lots of WanaBana apple cinnamon fruit puree, a finding supported by the FDA. Such elevated levels could result in acute toxicity, leading to the voluntary recall by WanaBana.

If you or your child experiences symptoms related to lead exposure, please contact your healthcare provider to report these symptoms and seek appropriate care. To file a complaint or report an adverse event, you can:

  • Call an FDA Consumer Complaint Coordinator for direct assistance.
  • Complete an electronic Voluntary MedWatch form online.
  • Fill out a paper Voluntary MedWatch form and mail it to the FDA.
  • For additional consumer and industry assistance, please visit www.fda.gov/fcic.
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