Report Date Ranges: October 17, 2023 – November 1, 2023
States with Cases: AR (1), LA (1), MD (1), MO (1) NC (2), Unknown (1)
According to the CDC, exposure to lead can seriously harm a child’s health and cause well-documented health effects, including damage to the brain and nervous system, slowed growth and development, learning and behavior problems, and hearing and speech problems. If your child may have been exposed to lead, talk to your child’s health care provider about getting a blood lead test.
Children under the age of 6 are at greatest risk for health problems caused by lead exposure. The health effects of lead exposure are more harmful to younger children than older children and adults because their bodies are still developing, and they are growing so rapidly. Young children also tend to put their hands or other objects, which may be contaminated with lead dust, into their mouths.
Product Distribution: Nationwide
As reported in a safety alert issued by FDA on October 28, 2023, the FDA, along with the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services (NCDHHS) and the North Carolina Department of Agriculture & Consumer Services (NCDA&CS) are investigating reports of four children with elevated blood lead levels, indicating potential acute lead toxicity. The NCDHHS investigation identified WanaBana Apple Cinnamon Fruit Puree pouches as a potential shared source of exposure. As part of their investigation, NCDHHS analyzed multiple lots of WanaBana Apple Cinnamon Fruit Puree, detecting extremely high concentrations of lead.
The FDA has reviewed and supports NCDHHS’s analytical findings and found that analytical results at this level could result in acute toxicity. The FDA has shared the results with the firm and on October 31, 2023, Wanabana LLC initiated a voluntary recall of all WanaBana Apple Cinnamon Fruit Puree Pouches.
Since the first alert was issued this investigation has been transferred to FDA’s Coordinated Outbreak Response & Evaluation (CORE) Network for additional follow up, in collaboration with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and state and local partners. Two additional brands of products are also subject to recall: certain Schnucks cinnamon-flavored applesauce pouches and variety pack and certain Weis cinnamon applesauce pouches.
FDA has received additional reports of illnesses and is working to evaluate those complaints. FDA’s investigation is ongoing to determine the source of lead contamination and whether additional products are linked to illnesses. FDA will update this advisory as information becomes available.
Certain apple puree and applesauce products. This includes all lot codes and expiration dates of:
• Recalled WanaBana apple cinnamon fruit puree pouches
• Recalled Schnucks brand cinnamon-flavored applesauce pouches and variety pack
• Recalled Weis brand cinnamon applesauce pouches (i.e., specific lots of UPC 041497216123)
Symptoms of Lead Toxicity
Lead is toxic to humans and can affect people of any age or health status. 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 you suspect a child may have been exposed to lead. Short term exposure to lead could result in the following symptoms: headache; abdominal pain/colic; vomiting; 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; weight loss.
• WanaBana apple cinnamon fruit puree pouches are sold nationally and are available through multiple retailers including Sam’s Club, Amazon, Dollar Tree, and other online outlets.
• Schnucks brand cinnamon-flavored applesauce pouches and variety pack are sold at Schnucks and Eatwell Markets grocery stores.
• Weis brand cinnamon applesauce pouches are sold at Weis grocery stores.
• Consumers should not eat, sell, or serve recalled WanaBana, Schnucks, and Weis brand apple cinnamon pouches and should discard them.
• These products have a long shelf life. Consumers should check their homes and discard these products.
• Most children have no obvious immediate symptoms of lead exposure. If there’s suspicion that a child may have been exposed to lead, parents should talk to their child’s healthcare provider about getting a blood test.
• Contact your healthcare provider if you think you may have symptoms of lead toxicity after eating recalled fruit pouches.