FDA and CDC Investigate Fruit Pouches: Over 20 Toddlers Affected by Lead Worries

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Following at least 22 toddler illnesses in 14 states from eating recalled fruit pouches, US health experts are alerting parents to be cautious. 

At least 22 children around the ages of 1-3 have high blood lead levels after consuming WanaBana Apple Cinnamon Fruit Purée pouches, according to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), and Prevention, as well as state health authorities. 

Following a safety alert from the FDA regarding a number of brands of products—including Schnucks variety packs including cinnamon-flavored applesauce pouches along with certain Weis cinnamon applesauce pouches that were recalled—the illnesses were reported. 

Four children were found to have higher blood lead levels, which the agencies said suggested possible acute lead toxicity. This prompted the FDA as well as the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services (NCDHHS) to collaborate on an investigation.

More samples of products of fruit purée and applesauce pouches are being gathered and tested by the FDA in collaboration with state partners. As of right now, tests on non-recalled products have not revealed elevated levels of lead.

Numerous lots of WanaBana Apple Cinnamon Fruit Puree were examined as part of NCDHHS’s probe, and the results showed abnormally high lead concentrations.

According to the FDA, the company included information about recalled Schnucks as well as Weis cinnamon applesauce pouches in its recall announcing that was extended on November 9. 

The recall extends outside of the US. The FDA received information from Wanabana indicating that the recalled product was also shipped to the United Arab Emirates and Cuba.

Symptoms of Lead-Contaminated Fruit Pouch Exposure

FDA-And-CDC-Investigate-Fruit-Pouches-Over-20-Toddlers-Affected-By-Lead-Worries
Following at least 22 toddler illnesses in 14 states from eating recalled fruit pouches, US health experts are alerting parents to be cautious.
  • Symptoms of a constitution include fatigue, arthralgias, myalgias, anorexia, insomnia, weight loss, generalized weakness, and malaise.
  • Digestive symptoms such as constipation, nausea, and “lead colic,” or pain in the abdomen.
  • Low blood count.
  • Effects on the central nervous system, including tremor, headache, low vision-motor coordination, and, in extreme situations, encephalopathy, coma, and seizures.
  • Reduced IQ, delayed neurobehavioral development, hearing issues, stunted growth, as well as failure to reach anticipated developmental milestones.
  • Reduced renal function, including sudden tubular dysfunction.
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