A Popular Brand of Fruit Puree Is Being Recalled for ‘Extremely High’ Lead Levels
With four North Carolina children reported sick, brush up on lead exposure symptoms if you bought these snacks from retailers like Sam's Club, DollarTree, Amazon, and others.
Recalls can be concerning, but none are as frightening as those related to the food you feed your children. If you and your child are fans of a specific fruit puree—or if you planned to treat the neighborhood kids to a non-candy Halloween treat—you may need to follow up with a medical provider after this weekend’s Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recall.
The agency released a report on October 29, 2023, regarding WanaBana’s apple cinnamon fruit pouches and the “extremely high concentrations of lead” the FDA says they could contain.
The FDA became aware of an investigation into elevated blood lead levels detected in four children in North Carolina, conducted by the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services (NCDHHS) and the North Carolina Department of Agriculture & Consumer Services (NCDA&CS). These elevated levels indicated potential acute lead toxicity and were linked to the fruit puree from WanaBana.
Due to the ongoing investigation, WanaBana is recalling all of its apple cinnamon fruit puree pouches, regardless of their expiration date.
In a press release, the company stated that it is “committed to ensuring the safety of its products and the well-being of its consumers.” The FDA reports that the affected fruit puree products were sold nationwide and could have been purchased at retailers such as Sam’s Club, Amazon, and Dollar Tree, among other smaller locations. The FDA has also issued an advisory that these pouches should not be given to children, and if they have already been consumed, the child should be evaluated for lead toxicity by a healthcare professional.
The FDA emphasized in its notice that any parent who suspects their child is suffering from lead toxicity should contact a healthcare provider.
The FDA lists the following as Signs and “Symptoms of Lead Toxicity”
From the FDA’s alert on WanaBana Apple Cinnamon Fruit Puree:
Lead is toxic to humans and can affect people of any age or health status. Protecting children from exposure to lead is important to lifelong good health. Lead exposure in children is often difficult to see. Most children have no obvious immediate symptoms. If there’s suspicion that a child may have been exposed to lead, parents should talk to their child’s healthcare provider about getting a blood test. Although lead can only be diagnosed through clinical testing, signs and symptoms of lead toxicity vary based on exposure.
Short term exposure to lead could result in the following symptoms:
- Abdominal pain/Colic
Longer term exposure could result in additional symptoms:
- Muscle aches or muscle prickling/burning
- Occasional abdominal discomfort
- Difficulty concentrating/Muscular exhaustibility
- Weight loss
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention also notes that lead exposure can result in brain damage, learning disabilities, and growth issues in children. Once again, only a healthcare provider can evaluate your child for potential issues related to lead exposure.
WanaBana is an Ecuador-based company that sells various packaged fruit products, including several fruit pouches designed for babies. The apple-cinnamon variety is no longer available on the website, but they still offer several apple varieties, including three different apple pouches for babies. They also sell fruit pulp for use in smoothies and tea.