RECALL ALERT: Lead Concerns Fuel Massive Food Recall

( – At least seven illnesses in five states have been reported, prompting the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to broaden its probe into apple sauce packets containing excessive amounts of lead.

The FDA announced last Friday that two more brands were subject to recall, including some Weis cinnamon applesauce pouches and Schnucks cinnamon-flavored applesauce pouches along with the variety packs.

Reports show the original safety advisory from the government warned parents and guardians not to purchase or serve WanaBana Apple-Cinnamon Fruit Puree Pouches to infants and toddlers due to increased lead levels.

Anemia and high blood pressure may result from long-term lead exposure, especially in older persons. Heavy lead exposure can kill adults and children by damaging the brain and kidneys. In pregnant women, excessive lead exposure might induce miscarriage.

The FDA, NC Dept. of Health and Human Services, and NC Dept. of Agriculture Consumer Services investigated four children with increased blood lead levels, suggesting acute lead intoxication. The NCDHHS study found that WanaBana Apple Cinnamon Fruit Puree pouches may have caused exposure. They tested various batches of WanaBana Apple Cinnamon Fruit Puree and found excessive lead levels.

The FDA informed Wanabana of Coral Gables, Florida, of the findings, which led to a voluntary recall of all Apple Cinnamon Fruit Puree Pouches on Oct. 31.

After discovering the two new brands, the FDA received further sickness reports and is investigating them. FDA investigators are looking for the source of the lead contamination and if other goods are causing symptoms. The FDA will revise this advice when data becomes available, the announcement added.

Schnucks Markets of St. Louis, which announced the recall on Friday, claimed the supplier, Purcell International, informed them that Austrofood SAS’s cinnamon raw material had excessive amounts of lead.

You or any child in your care should get a blood test if you see any signs of lead poisoning. If there is a problem, you may contact the FDA via their MedWatch program at 800-332-1088 or through their website.

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