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Images provided by the Erie County Department of Health
Images provided by the Erie County Department of Health

Risk of lead poisoning from cinnamon applesauce pouches marketed for children


Thu, Jan 25th 2024 05:10 pm

Update on FDA recall; reminder for parents and caregivers to throw these products away 

Submitted by the Erie County Department of Health

The Erie County Department of Health (ECDOH) is reminding residents to check their kitchens and cupboards to make sure that any recalled cinnamon applesauce pouches are removed and discarded.

Extensive reports in the media since last fall called attention to lead poisoning cases linked to eating WanaBana, Schnucks and Weis brand apple puree and applesauce products containing cinnamon. Individuals who consumed these products may have been exposed to lead, which is a poison and can cause neurological damage, especially in young children.

“These products have a long shelf life, and we want to make sure that parents and caregivers throw these foods away,” Commissioner of Health Dr. Gale Burstein said. “Check your diaper bags, all the shelves in your kitchen, any supplies you might have given to a child care provider, babysitter or family member, and make sure that these products are not consumed.”

She continued, “Though these products have been removed from store shelves nationwide, we know that they were available for purchase locally at stores like Dollar Tree and Family Dollar and on Amazon.com. Our lead poisoning prevention program public health nurses identified four cases in Erie County where applesauce likely contributed to their poisoning.”

•To properly discard the product, consumers and retailers should carefully open the pouch and empty the content into a trashcan before discarding the packaging to prevent others from salvaging recalled product from the trash. Clean up any spills after discarding the product, and then wash your hands. 

•Most children have no obvious immediate symptoms of lead exposure. If there’s suspicion that a child may have been exposed to lead, parents should talk to their child’s health care provider about getting a blood test. 

•Contact your health care provider if you think you or your child has eaten recalled fruit pouches, or has had any other type of exposure to lead. 

For more:

√ Erie County, lead poisoning prevention: www.erie.gov/lead

√ U.S. Food and Drug Administration update: https://www.fda.gov/food/outbreaks-foodborne-illness/investigation-elevated-lead-chromium-levels-cinnamon-applesauce-pouches-november-2023

√ Specific lot numbers: https://www.fda.gov/safety/recalls-market-withdrawals-safety-alerts/wanabana-recalls-wanabana-weis-and-schnucks-apple-cinnamon-fruit-puree-pouches-cinnamon-apple-sauce

√ Erie County Office of Health Equity “Let's Talk About Lead” newsletter: https://www3.erie.gov/health/sites/www3.erie.gov.health/files/2023-09/heleadnewsletterenglish.pdf

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