High lead levels in fruit puree pouches, FDA warns

The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has issued a public health alert, urging parents and caregivers not to purchase or feed WanaBana apple cinnamon fruit puree pouches to toddlers and young children. The popular snack, sold nationally through various retailers, has been found to contain high levels of lead, posing a potential health risk.    

The FDA's warning comes after an investigation by the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services (NCDHHS) and the North Carolina Department of Agriculture & Consumer Services (NCDA&CS) revealed four children with elevated blood lead levels, indicating possible acute lead toxicity.  
During their investigation, NCDHHS analyzed multiple lots of WanaBana apple cinnamon fruit puree pouches and identified extremely high concentrations of lead, prompting the FDA to support their findings.    

Lead exposure can cause severe harm to a child's health and have long-lasting effects on their brain and nervous system, as well as their overall growth and development.    

Symptoms of lead toxicity can vary depending on the duration and intensity of exposure. Short-term exposure may lead to headaches, abdominal pain, vomiting, and anemia. Longer-term exposure could result in additional symptoms such as irritability, lethargy, fatigue, muscle aches, occasional abdominal discomfort, constipation, difficulty concentrating, tremors, and weight loss.    

The FDA advises parents and caregivers who suspect their children may have consumed WanaBana apple cinnamon fruit puree pouches to contact their child's healthcare provider and request a blood test.    

In response to the FDA's alert, the producer has voluntarily recalled all apple cinnamon fruit puree pouches, regardless of expiration date or lot code. The company urges consumers who have purchased these products to dispose of them immediately.    

The FDA is actively working with state officials and the company to gather additional information and ensure the removal of all contaminated products from the market.