Applesauce Recalled for Lead Contamination, FDA Warns

WanaBana Apple Cinnamon Fruit Puree to blame for lead exposure.

Investigators in New York recently got to work to discover the cause of lead contamination, and the findings were unexpected, to say the least – applesauce. The particular product was the WanaBana Apple Cinnamon Fruit Puree, which the impacted patient purchased at the Dollar Tree near their home.

Recently, health officials have cautioned parents to be on the lookout and avoid several major applesauce products commonly consumed by children. This most recent case has resulted in an expansion on the recall of these products. Parents have been told to empty the contents of any remaining applesauce they have on hand into the trash and then to properly dispose of the container itself.

Any case of lead poisoning is a cause for major concern. Lead contamination is not safe at any potency for children and poisoning symptoms can be difficult to detect early on. Parents are cautioned to take any children who have consumed the recalled products to the doctor immediately. They can also keep an eye out for loss of appetite, irritability, nausea, constipation, and headaches.

Both the Federal Drug Administration (FDA) and the Center for Disease Control (CDC) have been reporting on counts of lead poisoning in the United States related to this recall. While the agencies’ numbers vary, both have counts currently below 100 that are steadily rising. Both agencies also believe that the lead poisoning from the applesauce can be traced specifically to the cinnamon on its ingredients list. This is important to know so that authorities can trace the cinnamon to any additional products that may use it for manufacturing to avoid further exposure.

Photo by Rachel Loughman on Unsplash

The first reports of contaminated applesauce leading the lead poisoning began to trickle in around mid-October 2023. This is when poison control centers and medical facilities alike started to report the issue.

U.S. health agencies have called on WanaBana to partner with their supply chain providers to ensure other aspects of these applesauce products, including the pouches themselves, are not to blame. The main facility for the cinnamon is located in Ecuador. The Food and Drug Administration is currently conducting sample selections from this location. However, the priority of officials, for now, is to reduce any consumption of products already sold and to remove any impacted products from supermarket shelves.

Lead poisoning is a serious public health issue that affects millions of people worldwide. Exposure to lead can cause a range of health problems, from developmental delays in children to cardiovascular disease in adults.

With cases steadily rising and many likely unreported, it will be a long road for those impacted by cases of lead poisoning due to the recall. The relevant health agencies will continue to share information as it becomes available.

In the meantime, by identifying and addressing sources of lead exposure, promoting healthy behaviors, and educating the public on the dangers of lead poisoning, government agencies, in general, can work together to spread awareness and help ensure individuals understand the dangers of lead poisoning and how these can be avoided.


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