March 4, 2024

Now 64 Children Sick With Lead Poisoning in WanaBana Outbreak

There are now at least 64 children sick with lead poisoning in WanaBana outbreak, according to the FDA. All of these patients are under the age of six. They live in 27 states.

Now 64 Children Sick With Lead Poisoning in WanaBana Outbreak

The patient case count by state is: Alabama (1), Arkansas (1), California (1), Connecticut (1), Florida (1), Georgia (2), Iowa (1), Illinois (3), Kentucky (3), Louisiana (4), Massachusetts (3), Maryland (6), Michigan (3), Missouri (1), North Carolina (5), Nebraska (2), New Hampshire (1), New Mexico (1), New York (8), Ohio (3), Pennsylvania (1), South Carolina (2), Tennessee (1), Texas (3), Virginia (2), Washington (3), and Wisconsin (1). The report date ranges are from October 17, 2023 through December 1, 2023.

There is a lag in the time frame from when children first start experiencing the symptoms of lead poisoning, or when a parent gets their child tested for blood lead levels, and when it is reported to government. These products have been on the market after they were recalled, which is illegal. And some households may still have these products in their homes.

The alleged culprit ingredient in these products is cinnamon from Ecuador. The FDA has started an onsite inspection at the Austrofoods facility in that country, and has collected ingredient samples. Ecuadorian authorities report that the lead levels in Negasmart’s cinnamon had higher levels of lead than allowed by Ecuador. Further more, Negasmart, which supplied the cinnamon to Austrofoods, is under an Ecuadorian administrative sanctions process.

The FDA has included adverse event reports submitted directly to the government that note blood lead levels at or above 3.5 micrograms of lead per deciliter of whole blood within three months after consuming the recalled WanaBana fruit purees. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) sets that level for recommended clinical monitoring of lead exposure in children.

As of December 1, 2023, the CDC has received reports of 18 confirmed cases, 30 probable cases, and four suspected cases from 13 different states through their reporting structure. CDC and FDA have different data sources, so the case ocunts will not correspond.

The FDA relies on self-reported information submitted by healthcare providers, consumers, and some state partners. Unlike foodborne illness outbreaks linked to pathogens, lead exposure can result from several sources. The FDA is working with the CDC and state partners to gather and evaluate data of suspected sources.

If your child consumed the recalled products, which include WanaBana Apple Cinnamon  Fruit Puree, Weis Cinnamon Applesauce, or Schnucks Cinnamon Applesauce, contact your doctor to see if they should be tested for lead poisoning. There is no safe level of lead exposure. Some children may experience symptoms including irritability, weight loss, loss of appetite, fatigue, vomiting, and constipation, while others may have no symptoms at all. Long term exposure to lead can result in reduced IQ and learning disabilities.

Attorneys at the Pritzker Hageman Food Safety Law Firm

If your child has been sickened with lead poisoning after eating WanaBana fruit purees, please contact our experienced attorneys for help with a possible lawsuit at 1-888-377-8900 or text us at 612-261-0856. Our firm represents clients in lawsuits against grocery stores, restaurants, and food processors.

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