December 7, 2023

WanaBana Applesauce Lead Poisoning Has Now Sickened 34

The WanaBana Applesauce lead poisoning incident has now sickened at least 34 children, according to the FDA. These illnesses are potentially linked to recalled WanaBana applesauce fruit puree. These products were manufactured in Ecuador. They were sold under the WanaBana, Weis, and Schnucks brands.

WanaBana Applesauce Lead Poisoning Has Now Sickened 34

The case count by state is: Alabama (1), Arkansas (1), California (1), Connecticut (1), Florida (1), Illinois (1), Louisiana (3), Maryland (2), Michigan (1), Missouri (1), North Carolina (5), Nebraska (1), New Hampshire (1), New Mexico (1), New York (4), Ohio (1), Pennsylvania (1), South Carolina (2), Tennessee (1), Texas (1), Virginia (1), Washington (1), and Unknown (1). Reports of illness range from October 17, 29023 to November 15, 2023. The patient age range is from one to three years.

The FDA collected a finished product sample of WanaBana Apple Cinnamon fruit Puree from a Dollar Tree store. The lead level in that product was 2.18 parts per million (ppm), which is more than 200 times greater than the level the FDA proposed in draft guidance for fruit purees and other items that are intended for babies and young children. (There is no safe level of lead intake, according to experts.)

The WanaBana products were sold through multiple retailers, including Amazon, Dollar Tree, and other online outlets. The Schnucks products were sold at Schnucks and Eatwell Markets stores. And the Weis products were sold at Weis grocery stores. They have all been recalled.

Sample analysis of WanaBana, Weis, and Schnucks fruit puree pouches that do not contain cinnamon have not shown elevated levels of lead, so are not part for this recall. The leading hypothesis is that the cinnamon used to make these products is the likely source of the lead contamination. At this time, the FDA does not think that this issue extends beyond these recalled products, but incoming shipments of cinnamon from multiple countries are being screened for lead contamination.

These products have a long shelf life, so you may have some in your home. Do not serve them to anyone. To properly discard these products, carefully open the pouch and empty the container into a trash can before discarding the packaging to prevent others from salvaging recalled product from the trash. Clean up any spills after discarding these products, then wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water. You can also take them back to the place of purchase.

At this time, the FDA is not aware of any other reports of illness or elevated blood lead levels reported for any other cinnamon-containing products, or cinnamon itself. It is the responsibility of companies distributing food products in the United States to comply with the FD&C Act rules and FDA regulations. These companies must also follow the Current Good Manufacturing Practices, Hazard Analysis, and Risk-Based Preventative Controls for Human Food rule.

Children who have elected lead levels may not show any symptoms, but are at risk for serious complications, including reduced IQ and learning disabilities. Contact your pediatrician to determine if your child who has consumed these products should be tested for elevated blood lead levels.

Children who do exhibit symptoms of lead toxicity can experience headache, abdominal pain, colic, vomiting, and anemia. Long term exposure to lead can lead to symptoms of irritability, lethargy, muscle aches or prickling/burning, fatigue, constipation, difficulty concentrating, muscular weakness, tremor, and weight loss. If your child has been experiencing these symptoms they may be part of this WanaBana applesauce lead poisoning group.

Attorneys at the Pritzker Hageman Food Safety Law Firm

If your child has been sickened with lead toxicity or elevated lead levels, 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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