In a recent health alert, U.S. health authorities have advised parents to be vigilant following reports that at least 22 toddlers in 14 states have fallen ill after consuming certain fruit pouches that have been recalled due to lead contamination concerns.
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), along with state health departments, have identified at least 22 instances of children, aged between 1 and 3 years, showing high blood lead levels. These cases have been linked to the consumption of WanaBana Apple Cinnamon Fruit Purée pouches.
The health concern emerged following a safety warning issued by the FDA for various branded products, including Schnucks Cinnamon-Flavored Applesauce pouches and a variety pack, as well as specific Weis cinnamon applesauce pouches, all of which were subsequently recalled.
On October 28, the FDA had already issued a caution to parents and caregivers against purchasing or feeding WanaBana Apple Cinnamon Fruit Puree Pouches to young children due to the risk of high lead content.
The recall and reported illnesses span across 14 states, with the FDA and CDC confirming that the affected toddlers consumed the recalled fruit pouches and cinnamon-apple sauce products. An FDA collaboration with the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services (NCDHHS) was initiated following reports of four children with high blood lead levels, raising concerns of acute lead toxicity. Further testing and sample collection of the fruit purée and applesauce pouches are ongoing, but so far, other products not part of the recall have not shown elevated lead levels.
NCDHHS’s investigation into multiple batches of WanaBana Apple Cinnamon Fruit Puree revealed extremely high lead concentrations. The FDA has validated these findings, indicating that such high levels could cause acute toxicity.
In response, Wanabana of Coral Gables, Florida, initiated a voluntary recall of all its Apple Cinnamon Fruit Puree Pouches on October 31. This recall was expanded on November 9 to include Schnucks and Weis cinnamon applesauce pouches, according to the FDA. The also extends internationally, with Wanabana informing the FDA that the recalled products were distributed not only in the United States but also in Cuba and the United Arab Emirates.
The CDC highlights the serious risk of lead toxicity, particularly in children. Young children are more susceptible to lead poisoning due to their developing nervous systems and their tendency to absorb a higher fraction of ingested lead compared to adults. Lead exposure in children, even at low levels, has been linked to a range of developmental issues, including learning difficulties, behavioral problems, and cognitive deficits.
In cases of severe exposure, children may develop lead poisoning, which can manifest as anemia, stomach pain, weakness, seizures, and potentially lead to brain damage.
To safeguard children’s health, the CDC advises parents and caregivers to avoid buying, consuming, selling, or serving the recalled cinnamon-containing applesauce pouch products due to their potential lead content. Furthermore, they recommend that parents of children who may have consumed these products consult with healthcare providers to arrange a blood test for lead.
This situation underscores the importance of stringent safety checks in food products, especially those intended for children. Parents are urged to stay informed about product recalls and to take immediate action if they suspect their child has been exposed to a recalled product. The collaborative efforts of the FDA, CDC, and state health departments continue to monitor and address this significant public health concern.
CONTACT PARKER WAICHMAN LLP FOR A FREE CASE REVIEW
Regardless of your location or where your injury occurred, our nationwide personal injury law firm is ready to assist you.
Parker Waichman LLP helps families recover monetary compensation for harm caused by dangerous products. For your free consultation, contact our national product liability law firm today by using our live chat or calling 1-800-YOUR-LAWYER (1-800-968-7529).
New York | Brooklyn | Queens | Long Island | New Jersey | Florida
Call us at: 1-800-YOURLAWYER (800-968-7529) | Schedule your free consultation