The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is alerting parents about certain pureed food pouches for children due to elevated levels of lead. In an announcement, the FDA recalled cinnamon apple puree and applesauce products under three brand names: WanaBana apple cinnamon fruit puree pouches, Schnucks-brand cinnamon-flavored applesauce pouches and variety pack, and Weis-brand cinnamon applesauce pouches.
According to the Associated Press, the FDA received 52 reports of elevated lead levels in children who reportedly consumed the products. This, the AP noted, is up from 34 cases reported one week ago. The children, ages 1 to 4, live across 22 states, according to the FDA’s announcement.
The three affected products were sold in stores across the U.S. and available online. According to the FDA, the WanaBana apple cinnamon fruit puree pouches are sold at “multiple retailers including Amazon, Dollar Tree, and other online outlets.” It added that it is aware the recalled product is still available at “several Dollar Tree stores in multiple states,” but that it should not be available, nor should consumers purchase it.
The FDA investigation into the source of contamination is ongoing and is being assisted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). However, according to the AP, the potential source of lead is the cinnamon imported from a manufacturer in Ecuador.
“Lead is toxic to humans and can affect people of any age or health status,” the FDA added in its announcement. “Protecting children from exposure to lead is particularly important because they are more susceptible to lead toxicity. Most children have no obvious immediate symptoms. Parents and caretakers should consult a healthcare provider if [they] suspect a child may have been exposed to lead.”
The agency added, “short-term exposure to lead could result in the following symptoms: headache, abdominal pain/colic, vomiting, or anemia. Longer-term exposure could result in the following additional symptoms: irritability, lethargy, fatigue, muscle aches or muscle prickling/burning, constipation, difficulty concentrating/muscular weakness, tremor, or weight loss.”
Those who purchased any of these products should dispose of them immediately. But before you do, the FDA encourages consumers to carefully empty the contents of the pouch before discarding it separately “to prevent others from salvaging recalled product from the trash.”