The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is expanding its recall of apple cinnamon fruit puree products amid new reports of illnesses linked to potential lead contamination.As reported in an Oct. 28 safety alert, federal health officials, along with the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services (NCDHHS) and the North Carolina Department of Agriculture & Consumer Services (NCDA&CS), are looking into reports of four children with elevated blood lead levels. Following the investigation, the NCDHHS identified WanaBana Apple Cinnamon Fruit Puree pouches as a “potential shared source of exposure,” thus leading the company to issue a voluntary recall.
On Nov. 3, the FDA said it now has reports of seven “adverse events” from Oct. 17 through Nov. 1. In addition to WanaBana, two additional companies — Schnucks Markets of St. Louis and Weis Markets of Sunbury — are being subjected to recalls because their cinnamon applesauce products may contain high levels of lead.
Because the aforementioned products all contain “extremely high concentrations of lead,” consuming them “could result in acute toxicity,” the FDA warned. Lead exposure in children is often difficult to detect because most children have no obvious immediate symptoms. Short term exposure could result in headache, abdominal pain and vomiting while longer term exposure could result in lethargy and muscle aches — just to name a few symptoms.
The cinnamon applesauce products are sold through online and in-person retailers such as Amazon, Dollar Tree and Schnucks and Eatwell Markets grocery stores. The FDA is advising parents and caregivers not to buy or feed the recalled products to children. Parents and caregivers of toddlers and young children who may have consumed the recalled products should contact their child’s healthcare provider about getting a blood test.