The Food and Drug Administration reported on Wednesday that there are currently 64 children that have lead poisoning potentially linked to tainted pouches of applesauce and cinnamon applesauce.
The affected brands that have been recalled are WanaBana, Schnucks, and Weis, against their cinnamon flavored applesauce pouch products from after November 2022.
The FDA received 64 reports, all of children under the age of 6, who experienced adverse effects potentially linked to the products. As of the beginning of December, there have been 18 confirmed cases, 30 probable cases, and 4 suspected cases.
The cases have been reported in 27 states, including Alabama, Arkansas, California, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Iowa, Illinois, Kentucky, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Maryland, Michigan, Missouri, North Carolina, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New Mexico, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, Washington, and Wisconsin.
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The children's blood lead levels were at or above 3.5 micrograms of lead per deciliter of whole blood within the three months after consuming the recalled product. This is a blood reference level with which the Center for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) recommends clinical monitoring of lead exposure in children.
The FDA has initiated an onsite inspection of the Austrofoods facility located in Ecuador to collect samples, and is coordinating with Ecuadorian authorities on its investigation into source elevated lead levels in cinnamon apple pouches.
Ecuadorian authorities also reported that Negasmart’s cinnamon has higher levels of lead than is allowed by Ecuador and is now currently under an Ecuadorian administrative sanctions process to determine the responsible party for the contamination.
The recall is occurring internationally, as the product is also distributed to Cuba and the United Arab Emirates. The FDA emphasized that it relies on self-reported information submitted by healthcare providers, consumers, and some state partners who submitted adverse event reports to the FDA.
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