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FDA Recalls WanaBana Fruit Puree Pouches Due to Lead Content [2024 Update]

Certain fruit pouches sold by WanaBana, Schnucks, and Weis Markets have been recalled due to lead contamination.

The FDA has received numerous reports of lead poisoning in children who have eaten these recalled products.

UPDATE: FDA Recalls WanaBana Fruit Puree Pouches Due to Lead Content

On this page, we’ll discuss the recent FDA Recalls of WanaBana Fruit Puree Pouches due to lead content, the current status of the FDA’s Coordinated Outbreak Response, who qualifies to file a WanaBana Lead Poisoning Lawsuit, and much more.

Fruit Puree Pouches Recalled by FDA Due to Lead Contamination

In fall 2023, WanaBana USA voluntarily recalled all lots of WanaBana Apple Cinnamon Fruit Purée pouches, along with certain batches of Schnucks Apple Sauce and Weis Cinnamon Apple Sauce, due to elevated levels of lead.

The nationwide recall was initiated following reports of lead poisoning in multiple children who consumed apple cinnamon fruit pouches.

Recalled products include:

  • WanaBana Apple Cinnamon Fruit Puree Pouches
  • Schnucks Cinnamon Flavored Applesauce Pouches and Variety Pack
  • Weis Cinnamon Applesauce Pouches

In December 2023, the FDA stated that they believe the lead contamination of these applesauce pouches may have been intentional.

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In October 2023, four children reported to be suffering from lead exposure sparked an investigation by the North Carolina Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services and the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services.

The state health departments’ investigation revealed extremely high concentrations of lead, which could result in acute toxicity.

Parents and caregivers are advised to stop using the recalled products immediately and consult healthcare providers for blood lead tests in exposed children.

WanaBana USA is actively cooperating with the FDA to determine the source of the contamination and ensure consumer safety, and our personal injury lawyers are currently accepting inquiries from parents of children who consumed recalled fruit puree pouches.

You may be eligible to file a claim if your child suffered lead exposure due to eating recalled WanaBana Apple Cinnamon Fruit Puree Pouches, Schnucks Cinnamon Flavored Applesauce Pouches, Weis Cinnamon Applesauce Pouches, or any other recalled products,

Contact TorHoerman Law for a free consultation.

Use the chatbot on this page to find out if you qualify for the WanaBana Lead Exposure Lawsuit instantly.

Ensuring the safety of products intended for children is of utmost importance, as their health and safety are a primary concern.

In cases where a child suffers from lead poisoning due to consuming recalled products, it is essential for parents to be aware of their legal rights and seek the necessary guidance.

For more information and assistance, our team of lawyers is available to support you through this challenging time.

Table of Contents

Overview of the WanaBana Fruit Puree Pouches Recall

The WanaBana fruit puree recall has raised significant health concerns, particularly regarding lead exposure in children.

The FDA recall encompasses all lots of WanaBana Apple Cinnamon Fruit Purée pouches, as well as specific batches of Schnucks cinnamon-flavored applesauce pouches and variety packs, and Weis cinnamon applesauce pouches, all found to contain elevated lead levels.

The recall follows the discovery of lead contamination in these products, with WanaBana Cinnamon Fruit Puree Pouches being identified as a common source among four children in North Carolina who exhibited dangerously high blood lead levels.

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The FDA has since received over 60 reports of adverse events, predominantly affecting children under six years of age.

According to the most recent FDA updates, investigations into this issue are ongoing, with the agency conducting inspections at the Austrofoods facility in Ecuador, where these products were manufactured.

Consumers are advised to immediately discontinue the use of these products and seek medical advice, especially for children who may have consumed the affected pouches.

The presence of lead contamination in food products primarily eaten by children underscores the critical need for stringent safety measures in children’s food products and the urgency of the FDA’s Closer to Zero action plan, aimed at reducing heavy metal content in baby foods.

FDA: Applesauce Pouches Lead Contamination May Have Been Intentional

On Friday Dec. 15, the FDA said that the lead contamination in recalled cinnamon applesauce pouches may have been intentional and economically motivated.

According to the FDA, Economically Motivated Adulteration (Food Fraud) occurs when producers intentionally substitute, dilute, tamper with, misrepresent, or otherwise conceal the ingredients or qualities within food products.

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The facility of Austrofoods, where the lead contamination was traced back to, is currently under investigation by both the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and officials from Ecuador.

In Ecuador, the authorities identified the source of cinnamon in the pouches produced by Negasmart and discovered that these products contained higher than permissible levels of lead in the country.

Initial Findings and Alerts: Four Children in North Carolina Found to Have Elevated Blood Lead Levels

The investigation into the lead poisoning cases linked to WanaBana apple cinnamon fruit puree pouches began as a routine check in North Carolina, where two young siblings tested positive for elevated lead levels.

State health officials, initially puzzled by the source of the lead, eventually zeroed in on the children’s diet, specifically the cinnamon applesauce pouches they regularly consumed.

This discovery by the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services (NCDHHS) led to the identification of WanaBana apple cinnamon fruit puree pouches as the potential source of exposure after finding extremely high concentrations of lead in multiple lots of the product.

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The FDA supported NCDHHS’s findings and issued a recall of all WanaBana apple cinnamon fruit puree pouches, regardless of lot code or expiration dates.

The joint efforts of local health departments, the NCDHHS, and the FDA underscored the seriousness of the situation.

Lead poisoning in children is particularly dangerous as it can cause developmental delays, learning difficulties, and behavioral problems.

Due to their developing brains and bodies, children absorb more lead than adults, making them more susceptible to the toxic effects of the heavy metal.

FDA Recall Expanded: Two More Recalled Products Suspected to Contain Lead

On November 9th, 2023, the FDA’s investigation into lead contamination in apple cinnamon fruit puree pouches was expanded to include additional products suspected to contain high levels of lead.

After the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services discovered elevated lead levels in four children, linked to WanaBana apple cinnamon fruit puree, a broader inquiry began.

Similar concerns in products from Schnucks Markets and Weis Markets prompted these companies to announce recalls of certain cinnamon applesauce products due to potential lead contamination.

Recalled pouches from Schnucks and Weis Markets Grocery Stores include the following:

  • Schnucks Cinnamon Applesauce Pouch, 12 pack, with the UPC 4131801152.
  • Schnucks Cinnamon Applesauce Pouch 4-pack, with the UPC 4131801155.
  • Schnucks Applesauce Pouch Variety 20-pack, with the UPC 4131801157.
  • All WanaBana Apple Cinnamon Fruit Puree Pouches regardless of expiration date and lot code.
  • Certain lots of Weis brand cinnamon applesauce pouches with the UPC 041497216123.

An Overview of The FDA's Recall and Investigation Process

The FDA’s recall and investigation process for contaminated food is a critical aspect of ensuring public health and safety.

When a potential hazard is identified in a food product, the FDA initiates a recall process that involves several key steps.

First, the issue is identified either through FDA inspections, manufacturer reports, or consumer complaints.

In the case of food contamination, the FDA works closely with the manufacturer to facilitate a swift and effective recall.

This involves identifying all distribution channels of the product and ensuring that retailers and consumers are informed about the recall.

The FDA also issues public notifications to alert consumers and provides guidance on what they should do with the recalled product.

During the investigation, the FDA may conduct onsite inspections of the manufacturing facilities to determine the source of contamination.

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This part of the investigation is complemented by laboratory testing of product samples.

The goal of the FDA inspection is to identify the contamination’s root cause, prevent recurrence, and implement any necessary changes in manufacturing processes or quality control.

The FDA’s “Closer to Zero” plan specifically targets the reduction of toxic elements like lead, arsenic, cadmium, and mercury in foods for babies and young children.

Closer to Zero reflects the FDA’s commitment to continually improving food safety standards, especially for vulnerable populations.

The plan outlines a science-based approach to reducing contaminants in foods consumed by children.

Collaboration with the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and Local Health Departments

In the FDA recall and inspection process for hazardous foods, collaboration with the CDC and local health departments is crucial.

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The FDA, CDC, and local health departments around the country work together to track and investigate health-related complaints, pooling resources and expertise to address public health concerns effectively:

  • The CDC provides valuable epidemiological support, helping to identify patterns of illness and potential sources of contamination.
  • Local health departments act as on-the-ground liaisons, conducting inspections, collecting samples, and directly communicating with affected communities.
  • The FDA leads the overall coordination of these efforts, utilizing its regulatory authority to manage the recall process, conduct thorough investigations at manufacturing facilities, and ensure compliance with food safety standards to prevent future incidents.

The Dangers of Lead Poisoning in Children

Lead poisoning in children is a severe public health concern due to its significant impact on a child’s development and overall health.

Children are more susceptible to lead poisoning than adults because their bodies absorb lead more easily, and their brains and nervous systems are still developing.

Lead exposure in children can lead to a range of serious health issues.

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If you suspect your child has been exposed to lead, contact your child’s healthcare provider and schedule a blood test.

Even low levels of lead in the bloodstream can affect IQ, the ability to pay attention, and academic achievement.

The effects of lead exposure are often irreversible, and it is of paramount importance to prevent lead exposure in children from sources such as contaminated food, water, and the environment.

Understanding Lead Toxicity and Its Effects

Understanding lead toxicity and its effects, especially in the context of contaminated food, is crucial for safeguarding children’s health.

Lead is a heavy metal that can be toxic to humans, particularly to children, whose developing bodies and brains are more vulnerable to its harmful effects.

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When lead is ingested through contaminated food, it is absorbed into the bloodstream and can be deposited in the bones, brain, and other organs.

In severe cases, lead poisoning can result in irreversible damage to the brain and nervous system, causing long-term developmental challenges.

Symptoms of Lead Exposure in Children

The symptoms of lead exposure in children can vary, especially between short-term exposure and long-term exposure.

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Symptoms of lead exposure in children include:

  • Abdominal pain
  • Muscle aches
  • Weight loss
  • Irritability or aggressive behavior
  • Vomiting or nausea
  • Constipation
  • Hearing loss
  • Fatigue or lethargy
  • Seizures in severe cases

It’s important to remember that many of these symptoms can be subtle or similar to other common childhood illnesses.

Long-Term Health Risks Associated with Lead Exposure

Long-term health risks associated with lead exposure, particularly in children, can be severe and lasting.

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Potential long-term health effects of lead exposure may include:

  • Cognitive Impairments: Prolonged lead exposure is linked to reduced IQ, attention deficits, and learning disabilities. Even low levels of lead can affect brain development and cognitive functioning.
  • Behavioral Problems: Children exposed to lead may exhibit behavioral issues, including hyperactivity, aggression, and problems with impulse control.
  • Neurological Damage: Lead can cause damage to the nervous system, potentially leading to lasting neurological issues.
  • Kidney Damage: Chronic lead exposure can affect kidney function, potentially leading to kidney disease later in life.
  • Reproductive Issues: For both males and females, lead exposure can affect reproductive health, potentially leading to fertility issues.
  • Cardiovascular Problems: There is evidence to suggest that lead exposure can increase the risk of hypertension and other cardiovascular problems in adulthood.
  • Bone and Muscle Problems: Lead can interfere with bone development and muscle function, potentially leading to bone and joint pain or weakness.

It’s important to note that the effects of lead exposure may not manifest until years after the exposure.

TorHoerman Law: Investigating Lead Poisoning from Recalled Fruit Pouches

The recent recall of fruit puree pouches, including products from WanaBana, Schnucks and Weis, has raised significant concerns among parents about the safety of children’s food products.

The presence of lead in these widely consumed products highlights a serious risk to children’s health, particularly given the long-term effects associated with lead exposure.

For families affected by this issue, understanding the potential health implications for their children is vital.

If your child has suffered from lead poisoning as a result of consuming these recalled products, it may be due to the manufacturers’ negligence.

Seeking legal assistance can be a crucial step towards securing justice and compensation for any harm caused.

Contact TorHoerman Law for a free consultation.

Use the chatbot on this page to find out if you qualify to file a lead poisoning claim instantly.

Our goal is to help affected families get the justice and compensation they deserve for the hardships they have endured.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • What is the WanaBana Recall?

    Lead concerns in WanaBana Apple Cinnamon Fruit Puree Pouches has forced the company to voluntarily recall all lots of these products.

    Additional brands, Schuncks (St. Louis-based grocery store) and Weis Markets (Pennsylvania-based grocery store), have also recalled their cinnamon flavored applesauce pouches.

    This recall was initiated in response to the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services’ (NCDHHS) analytical findings, which identified the product as a potential source of lead exposure in children.

    The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued a public health alert, warning parents about the risks and advising them to check their children’s blood lead levels.

    Lead poisoning is particularly dangerous for toddlers and young children.

  • What Fruit Pouches are Recalled for Lead Contamination?

    In Fall 2023, the FDA issued a public health alert about certain apple cinnamon fruit puree pouches that were contaminated with lead.

    Fruit pouches recalled due to lead contamination include:

    • WanaBana Apple Cinnamon Fruit Puree Pouches
    • Schnucks Cinnamon Flavored Applesauce Pouches and Variety Pack
    • Weis Cinnamon Applesauce Pouches

  • Where were Lead-Contaminated Fruit Pouches Sold?

    WanaBana Apple Cinnamon Puree Pouches and other recalled products were sold nationally at multiple retailers.

    Retailers that sold lead-contaminated fruit pouches include:

    • Sam’s Club
    • Walmart
    • Target
    • Amazon
    • Dollar Tree
    • Other major retailers

    Local markets, grocery stores, and other online retailers have also sold these recalled products.

    According to a report by Reuters, several Dollar Tree stores kept the recalled WanaBana Apple Cinnamon Fruit Pouches on their shelves weeks after the voluntary recall and adverse events potentially linked to lead exposure.

  • Is There a Lawsuit for Lead Exposure from Recalled Fruit Pouches?

    Our law firm is currently investigating legal action on behalf of parents whose children ate lead-contaminated fruit pouches and subsequently suffered health problems.

    Reach out to us for a free consultation, or use the chatbot on this page to find out if you qualify to take legal action instantly.

Written By:
Tor Hoerman

Tor Hoerman

Owner & Attorney - TorHoerman Law

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