Part of a federal investigation into lead in certain cinnamon applesauce products has been shifted to a followup status.

The new approach by the Food and Drug Administration is designed to provide post-incident response action. The agency will continue surveillance activities as well as prevention and compliance activities, according to an update posted by the FDA on April 16.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is continuing to monitor the outbreak of lead poisoning and most recently reported 519 children impacted in the outbreak. The outbreak stretches across 44 states. The FDA has collected 90 “adverse incident” reports in the outbreak. The two agencies use different reporting methods, so their numbers may overlap somewhat and should not be added together. The CDC continues to add patients to its count.

Also, there can be significant lagtime between consumption of the lead contaminated cinnamon applesauce and the detection of elevated blood levels of the heavy metal.

Three brands of cinnamon applesauces sold in pouches and marketed for children have been recalled. They are Wanabana, Schnucks and Weis. Only cinnamon applesauce products have been implicated.

The FDA was first notified about the lead in the applesauce in mid-September of 2023 by public health officials in North Carolina. On Oct. 28 the FDA discussed analytical findings of lead in cinnamon applesauce produced by Astrofoods in Ecuador with the producer. Also on Oct. 28 the FDA issued a warning to U.S. consumers.

It was eventually determined that the lead was from contaminated cinnamon purchased from a third-party supplier. The FDA has reported that the lead was likely added to the cinnamon to increase its weight and therefore its commercial value.

Other key dates in the investigation include:

  • On Oct. 29, 2023, Wanabana LLC notified their customers about recall of the WanaBana Apple Cinnamon Fruit Puree products.
  • On Oct.30, 2023, and through continued cooperation with the FDA, Wanabana LLC issued a press release regarding their voluntary recall of all WanaBana Apple Cinnamon Fruit Puree Pouches.
  • On Nov. 2, 2023, after reviewing records provided by the firm as part of their initial recall, the FDA learned that other products (i.e., certain Schnucks and Weis cinnamon applesauce pouches) were implicated in the recall and required additional public notice.
  • On Nov. 3, 2023, the FDA updated its safety alert to, among other things, include certain Schnucks and Weis cinnamon applesauce pouches.
  • On Nov.5, 2023, the FDA held a call with the firm, Wanabana LLC. During the call, FDA staff discussed the investigation, requested additional information from the firm, and asked the firm to update their press release regarding their voluntary recall and to provide additional clarification regarding the scope of the recall of all apple cinnamon fruit puree products, which the firm verbally agreed to provide.
  • On Nov. 6, 2023, Apple Cinnamon Fruit Puree products from Austrofoods were added to Import Alert 99-42.
  • On Nov. 9, 2023, Wanabana LLC issued their expanded recall announcement to include information on recalled Schnucks and Weis cinnamon applesauce pouches, which also impacts markets outside of the United States. Customer information provided by Wanabana LLC shows that product was also distributed to Cuba and the United Arab Emirates.

About lead poisoning
Parents and caretakers should consult a healthcare provider and ask for blood tests if they suspect a child may have been exposed to the recalled cinnamon applesauce products. 

Short-term exposure to lead could result in the following symptoms: headache, abdominal pain/colic, vomiting, and anemia. 

Longer-term exposure could result in additional symptoms: irritability, lethargy, fatigue, muscle aches or muscle prickling/burning, constipation, difficulty concentrating/muscular weakness, tremors, and weight loss. 

Permanent consequences can lead to developmental delays and brain damage.

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In response to the problem with elevated levels of lead in cinnamon in children’s applesauce and recalls of products in the fall of 2023, the FDA initiated a review of ground cinnamon and has issued warnings.

During the review the Food and Drug Administration found elevated levels of lead in several products. The products are not targeted toward children, but are used as ingredients in foods that consumers may make and serve to children.

“Consistent with the agency’s Closer to Zero initiative, which focuses on reducing childhood exposure to lead, the agency is recommending voluntary recall of the products listed below because prolonged exposure to the products may be unsafe. Removing the ground cinnamon products in this alert from the market will prevent them from contributing elevated amounts of lead to the diets of children,” according to the FDA warning.

The FDA’s targeted survey checked ground cinnamon products from discount retail stores and analyzed the samples for chromium as well as lead.

The ground cinnamon products subject to the FDA’s warning are:

DistributorRetailersBrand Names(s)Lots/CodesLead Concentration (ppm)
La Fiesta Food Products
La Miranda, CA
La Superior SuperMercadosLa Fiesta250332.73
Moran Foods, LLC
Saint Ann, MO
Save A LotMarcumBest By: 10/16/25 10DB 04/06/25 0400B13.20   2.70
MTCI
Santa Fe Springs, CA
SF SupermarketMKNo codes2.99
Raja Foods LLC
Skokie, IL
Patel BrothersSwadKX212232.12
Greenbriar International, Inc.
Chesapeake, VA
Dollar Tree   Family DollarSupreme TraditionBest By: 09/29/25 09E8 04/17/25  04E11 12/19/25 12C2 04/12/25 04ECB12 08/24/25 08A_ _ 04/21/25 04E5 04/21/25 04E5  2025-09-22 09E20 (Missouri)3.37 2.26 2.03 2.34 3.14 3.12 2.88 3.13
El Chilar
Apopka, FL
La Joya Morelense  (Baltimore, MD)El ChilarF275EX1026 (Maryland) D300EX1024 (Maryland)3.40 2.93

The FDA is advising consumers to throw away and to not buy these ground cinnamon products. The FDA has recommended that the firms voluntarily recall these products, with the exception of the MTCI cinnamon. The FDA has been unable to reach MTCI to share test findings and therefore has been unable to request that the company initiate a recall. The FDA will post updates with communications from firms that voluntarily agree to recalls.

Contamination thought to be intentional
This past week the FDA confirmed that lead chromate is the source of lead and chromium in cinnamon applesauce marketed for children and imported from Ecuador.

Leaders at the FDA continue to believe the contamination was intentional.

The Food and Drug Administration had already confirmed that applesauce samples had as much as 2,000 times the amount of lead considered safe.

Three brands of cinnamon applesauce pouches were recalled in November of 2023 because of lead contamination: Wanabana, Schnucks, and Weis. The FDA also found elevated levels of chromium in the recalled applesauce.

“People who ate recalled products, especially if they had elevated blood lead levels, may have been exposed to chromium and should inform their healthcare provider so they can monitor health and provide supportive care, as needed,” according to the FDA.

“Historically, lead chromate has been illegally added to certain spices to increase their weight and color, increasing the monetary value of the adulterated spices. FDA’s leading hypothesis remains that this was likely an act of economically motivated adulteration.”

The FDA has limited regulatory power over foreign ingredient suppliers who do not directly ship their products to the United States. Consequently, the FDA cannot take direct action against Negasmart, the supplier of the cinnamon to the Ecuadorean applesauce manufacturer Austrofoods, or Carlos Aguilera, the processor of the cinnamon sticks. 

“Ecuadorian officials in Agencia Nacional de Regulación, Control y Vigilancia Sanitaria (ARCSA) have reported that Carlos Aguilera of Ecuador is the likely source of contamination and is not in operation at this time,” according to the U.S. FDA.

Children impacted by cinnamon applesauce with elevated levels of lead
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention there are now 468 patients spread across 44 states.

The implicated cinnamon applesauce products — Wanabana, Schnucks and Weis — were recalled in the fall of 2023. They have long shelf life and consumers may still have them on hand, so FDA continues to urge people to check their homes for these products.

“Cases are reported to the CDC through state health departments. State health departments receive reports of potential cases from various sources, and then follow up to determine whether the case definition is met. In order to be considered in CDC’s case count, the person must have had a blood lead level of 3.5 ug/dL or higher measured within 3 months after consuming a recalled WanaBana, Schnucks, or Weis brand fruit purée product after November 2022,” according to the CDC’s outbreak update.

The Food and Drug Administration is also logging patients in the outbreak. As of Feb. 27 the FDA was reporting that its patient count was holding steady at 90. The FDA and CDC use different ways of tracking patients, so there may be some overlap with the counts. The FDA reports that the vast majority of the patients are 1 year old or younger.

The investigation
The FDA and officials in Ecuador — where the applesauce was produced — continue to investigate the situation. Some of the tests of cinnamon used to make the implicated applesauce showed 2,000 times the amount of lead considered safe.

Earlier this month, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration revealed the name of the company that supplied tainted cinnamon used to make applesauce marketed for young children in the United States. On Feb. 6, officials in Ecuador reported to the FDA that Carlos Aguilera of Ecuador was the processor of ground cinnamon used in making applesauce sold in pouches in the United States.

The cinnamon supplier sold the tainted spice to Negasmart, which sold the cinnamon to Austrofoods, the end producer of the applesauce. The FDA’s investigation is ongoing to determine the point of contamination and whether additional products are linked to illnesses.

According to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, the cinnamon supplier is currently not in business. The FDA’s deputy commissioner for human foods, Jim Jones, has said he believes the cinnamon was intentionally contaminated. Adding lead to spices and other products can increase the product’s weight and, therefore, its value.

“The FDA has limited authority over foreign ingredient suppliers who do not directly ship product to the U.S. This is because their food undergoes further manufacturing/processing before export. Thus, the FDA cannot take direct action with Negasmart or Carlos Aguilera,” according to a statement from the agency.

“FDA does not indicate that this issue extends beyond these recalled products and does not have any confirmed reports of illnesses or elevated blood lead level adverse events reported for other cinnamon-containing products or cinnamon.”

According to health officials in Ecuador, unprocessed cinnamon sticks used in recalled products were sourced from Sri Lanka. They were sampled by Ecuadoran officials and found to have no lead contamination.

About lead poisoning
Parents and caretakers should consult a healthcare provider and ask for blood tests if they suspect a child may have been exposed to the recalled cinnamon applesauce products. 

Short-term exposure to lead could result in the following symptoms: headache, abdominal pain/colic, vomiting, and anemia. 

Longer-term exposure could result in additional symptoms: irritability, lethargy, fatigue, muscle aches or muscle prickling/burning, constipation, difficulty concentrating/muscular weakness, tremors, and weight loss. 

Permanent consequences can lead to developmental delays and brain damage.

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More children have been identified as patients in an outbreak of lead poisonings traced to certain cinnamon applesauce products.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention there are now 468 patients spread across 44 states. That’s up from the 422 patients identified in the previous update on Feb. 13.

The implicated cinnamon applesauce products — Wanabana, Schnucks and Weis — were recalled in the fall of 2023.

“Cases are reported to the CDC through state health departments. State health departments receive reports of potential cases from various sources, and then follow up to determine whether the case definition is met. In order to be considered in CDC’s case count, the person must have had a blood lead level of 3.5 ug/dL or higher measured within 3 months after consuming a recalled WanaBana, Schnucks, or Weis brand fruit purée product after November 2022,” according to the CDC’s outbreak update.

The Food and Drug Administration is also investigating the outbreak. As of Feb. 27 the FDA was reporting that its patient count was holding steady at 90. The FDA and CDC use different ways of tracking patients, so there may be some overlap with the counts. The FDA reports that the vast majority of the patients are 1 year old or younger.

The investigation
The FDA and officials in Ecuador — where the applesauce was produced — continue to investigate the situation. Some of the tests of cinnamon used to make the implicated applesauce showed 2,000 times the amount of lead considered safe.

Earlier this month, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration revealed the name of the company that supplied tainted cinnamon used to make applesauce marketed for young children in the United States. On Feb. 6, officials in Ecuador reported to the FDA that Carlos Aguilera of Ecuador was the processor of ground cinnamon used in making applesauce sold in pouches in the United States.

The cinnamon supplier sold the tainted spice to Negasmart, which sold the cinnamon to Austrofoods, the end producer of the applesauce. The FDA’s investigation is ongoing to determine the point of contamination and whether additional products are linked to illnesses.

According to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, the cinnamon supplier is currently not in business. The FDA’s deputy commissioner for human foods, Jim Jones, has said he believes the cinnamon was intentionally contaminated. Adding lead to spices and other products can increase the product’s weight and, therefore, its value.

“The FDA has limited authority over foreign ingredient suppliers who do not directly ship product to the U.S. This is because their food undergoes further manufacturing/processing before export. Thus, the FDA cannot take direct action with Negasmart or Carlos Aguilera,” according to a statement from the agency.

“FDA does not indicate that this issue extends beyond these recalled products and does not have any confirmed reports of illnesses or elevated blood lead level adverse events reported for other cinnamon-containing products or cinnamon.”

According to health officials in Ecuador, unprocessed cinnamon sticks used in recalled products were sourced from Sri Lanka. They were sampled by Ecuadoran officials and found to have no lead contamination.

About lead poisoning
Parents and caretakers should consult a healthcare provider and ask for blood tests if they suspect a child may have been exposed to the recalled cinnamon applesauce products. 

Short-term exposure to lead could result in the following symptoms: headache, abdominal pain/colic, vomiting, and anemia. 

Longer-term exposure could result in additional symptoms: irritability, lethargy, fatigue, muscle aches or muscle prickling/burning, constipation, difficulty concentrating/muscular weakness, tremors, and weight loss. 

Permanent consequences can lead to developmental delays and brain damage.

(To sign up for a free subscription to Food Safety News,click here)

The CDC is reporting that more than 350 children are now involved in an outbreak of lead poisoning traced to pouches of cinnamon applesauce.

The outbreak was first announced in October after the Food and Drug Administration received information from North Carolina officials in September about children with elevated levels of lead in their blood. Traceback work showed a common source — cinnamon applesauce sold in pouches.

The implicated applesauce was made in Ecuador by Austrofoods. Negasmart supplied the cinnamon in the applesauce pouches to Austrofoods. Officials found the lead in the cinnamon was 2,000 times the amount considered safe. Elevated levels of chromium were also found in the product.

In an update last week, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported it is investigating 354 cases of lead poisoning: Confirmed cases 93, probable cases 233, and suspect cases 28. The patients are spread across 41 states. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration is reporting that it is investigating 89 cases with patients ranging in age from less than one to 53 years old, with the median age being one year old. There could be some overlap so the CDC and FDA numbers should not be added together.

Three brands of cinnamon applesauce pouches have been recalled. They are Wanabana, Schnucks and Weis. The pouches were sold individually nationwide. Some of the Schnucks pouches were sold in variety packs. All dates and lots of the products are subject to recall. (see photos above).

The FDA and CDC recommend that parents not use the applesauce and throw it away or return it to the place of purchase. The applesauce has a very long shelf life, so consumers urge the public to check their homes for the recalled products.

About lead poisoning
Parents and caretakers should consult a healthcare provider and ask for blood tests if they suspect a child may have been exposed to the recalled cinnamon applesauce products. 

Short-term exposure to lead could result in the following symptoms: headache, abdominal pain/colic, vomiting, and anemia. 

Longer-term exposure could result in additional symptoms: irritability, lethargy, fatigue, muscle aches or muscle prickling/burning, constipation, difficulty concentrating/muscular weakness, tremors, and weight loss. 

Permanent consequences can lead to developmental delays and brain damage.

About chromium exposure
Symptoms of chromium exposure from eating contaminated food may be nonspecific. Some people might not experience any symptoms. Ingestion of chromium exceeding dietary recommendations may result in abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, anemia, and renal and hepatic dysfunction.

(To sign up for a free subscription to Food Safety News, click here.) 

More children are in the tally of those with elevated lead levels after eating certain brands of cinnamon applesauce.

As of Jan. 8, the Food and Drug Administration has received 87 confirmed complaints in the outbreak, up from 82 on Dec. 26.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has also received more reports of children with elevated lead levels in their blood. The CDC has now received reports of 86 confirmed cases, 209 probable cases, and 26 suspected cases for a total of 321 cases from 38 different states 

The FDA reports that the age range of the patients is less than one year old to 53 years old, with a median age of 1 year old.

The Food and Drug Administration continues to work with authorities in Ecuador and the producer of the cinnamon applesauce, Astrofoods, to determine how the cinnamon in the applesauce was contaminated. FDA sampling found lead at 2,000 of the proposed safe levels in the applesauce.

Jim Jones, deputy commissioner for the FDA’s human foods program, has said he believes the contamination was intentional. Lead can be added to products to increase their weight, making them more valuable.

The outbreak has been traced to three brands of cinnamon applesauce: Wanabana, Schnucks, and Weis. Astrofoods produced all three in Ecuador and used cinnamon from the supplier Negasmart. All three brands have been recalled. The products have long shelf lives, so consumers should check their homes for them and discard them.

The cinnamon used in the applesauce has also been found to have high levels of chromium, which can cause various health problems.

“People who ate recalled products, especially if they had elevated blood lead levels, may have been exposed to chromium and should inform their healthcare provider so they can monitor health and provide supportive care as needed,” according to an update from the FDA.

Symptoms of chromium exposure from eating contaminated food may be nonspecific. Some people might not experience any symptoms. Ingestion of chromium exceeding dietary recommendations may result in abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, anemia, and renal and hepatic dysfunction.

About lead poisoning
Parents and caretakers should consult a healthcare provider and ask for blood tests if they suspect a child may have been exposed to the recalled cinnamon applesauce products. 

Short-term exposure to lead could result in the following symptoms: headache, abdominal pain/colic, vomiting, and anemia. 

Longer-term exposure could result in additional symptoms: irritability, lethargy, fatigue, muscle aches or muscle prickling/burning, constipation, difficulty concentrating/muscular weakness, tremors, and weight loss. 

Permanent consequences can lead to developmental delays and brain damage.

(To sign up for a free subscription to Food Safety News,click here)

In addition to extremely high levels of lead, the FDA has found elevated levels of chromium in cinnamon applesauce products marketed for children.

The applesauce in question was manufactured by the Ecuadoran company Austrofoods and marked in the United States under the brands Wanabana, Schnucks and Weis. All of the implicated cinnamon applesauce, which was sold in pouches, has been recalled, but there have been some reports of the Wanabana brand still being on shelves at Dollar Tree stores.

The Food and Drug Administration found lead levels as much as 2,000 times the proposed safe levels when it tested the implicated cinnamon applesauce. The agency and Ecuadoran officials have found that the cinnamon in the applesauce is the source of the lead.

Additional testing by the FDA has found excessive chromium levels in samples of the cinnamon applesauce and the cinnamon used to make it. The level of chromium detected in the samples of cinnamon yielded 1201 and 531 parts per million (ppm). 

“People who ate recalled products, especially if they had elevated blood lead levels, may have been exposed to chromium and should inform their healthcare provider so they can monitor health and provide supportive care as needed,” according to an update from the FDA.

“Chromium is a naturally occurring element. It is an essential trace nutrient important to the diet that exists predominantly in two forms, chromium (III) and chromium (VI). Chromium (VI) is more toxic than chromium (III). Due to limitations in available testing methods, FDA was not able to definitively determine the form of chromium in the cinnamon apple puree sample (i.e., whether the chromium present is chromium (III) or chromium (VI)).”

Symptoms of chromium exposure from eating contaminated food may be nonspecific. Some people might not experience any symptoms. Ingestion of chromium exceeding dietary recommendations may result in abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, anemia, renal and hepatic dysfunction.

In addition to testing for chromium the FDA tested samples of the implicated applesauce for and cadmium, but those elements were not detected above trace levels in the cinnamon collected from the Austrofoods facility in Ecuador or in the recalled product. 

As of Jan. 2 the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported a total of 287 patients from 34 states with elevated levels of lead in their blood.

The Food and Drug Administration has received reports of 82 children with lead poisoning as of Dec. 26. The agencies use different reporting methods so their numbers may overlap in some cases and should therefore not be added together for a total.

About lead poisoning
Parents and caretakers should consult a healthcare provider and ask for blood tests if they suspect a child may have been exposed to the recalled cinnamon applesauce products. 

Short-term exposure to lead could result in the following symptoms: headache, abdominal pain/colic, vomiting, and anemia. 

Longer-term exposure could result in additional symptoms: irritability, lethargy, fatigue, muscle aches or muscle prickling/burning, constipation, difficulty concentrating/muscular weakness, tremors, and weight loss. 

Permanent consequences can lead to developmental delays and brain damage.

The number of children affected by extremely high levels of lead in cinnamon applesauce pouches continues to grow.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention are now reporting a total of 287 patients, up from its count on Dec. 22 when 251 patients from 34 states had been reported to the agency.

The Food and Drug Administration had received reports of 82 reports of children with lead poisoning as of Dec. 26. The agencies use different reporting methods so their numbers may overlap in some cases and should therefore not be added for a total.

The outbreak has been traced to three brands of cinnamon applesauce, Wanabana, Schnucks and Weis. All three were produced by Astrofoods in Ecuador and all three used cinnamon from the supplier Negasmart. The recalled cinnamon applesauce pouches were made with cinnamon containing as much as 2,000 times the recommended amount of lead. These products have a long shelf life. Consumers should check their homes and discard these products.

The cinnamon in the applesauce has been found to be the problem by U.S. and Ecuadorian officials. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration is testing other products and only the recalled cinnamon applesauce is showing elevated levels of lead. 

Recalled products still on store shelves
WanaBana apple cinnamon fruit puree pouches are sold nationally individually and in three-packs and have been available through multiple retailers, including Amazon and other online outlets, as well as Dollar Tree and Family Dollar/Dollar Tree combination stores.

The FDA found, as of Dec. 13, recalled WanaBana Apple Cinnamon Puree products still on the shelves at several Dollar Tree stores in multiple states. 

As of Dec. 19, the FDA also received a report that recalled WanaBana Apple Cinnamon Puree products may still be on shelves at Family Dollar/Dollar Tree combination stores. Consumers should not purchase these products.

Schnucks-brand cinnamon-flavored applesauce pouches and variety packs were sold at Schnucks and Eatwell Markets grocery stores. They have been removed from store shelves

Weis-brand cinnamon applesauce pouches are sold at Weis grocery stores and have been removed from store shelves.

About lead poisoning
Parents and caretakers should consult a healthcare provider and ask for blood tests if they suspect a child may have been exposed to the recalled cinnamon applesauce products. 

Short-term exposure to lead could result in the following symptoms: headache, abdominal pain/colic, vomiting, and anemia. 

Longer-term exposure could result in additional symptoms: irritability, lethargy, fatigue, muscle aches or muscle prickling/burning, constipation, difficulty concentrating/muscular weakness, tremors, and weight loss. 

Permanent consequences can lead to developmental delays and brain damage.

(To sign up for a free subscription to Food Safety News, click here)

The number of children affected by extremely high levels of lead in cinnamon applesauce pouches continues to grow, and some adults are now reported in the outbreak.

The outbreak has been traced to three brands of cinnamon applesauce: Wanabana, Schnucks, and Weis. Astrofoods produced all three in Ecuador and used cinnamon from the supplier Negasmart. The recalled cinnamon applesauce pouches were made with cinnamon containing as much as 2,000 times the recommended amount of lead. These products have a long shelf life. Consumers should check their homes and discard these products.

The cinnamon in the applesauce is a problem for U.S. and Ecuadorian officials. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration is testing other products. Only the recalled cinnamon applesauce is showing elevated levels of lead.

As of Dec. 26, the Food and Drug Administration reported receiving 82 confirmed complaints of adverse events linked to recalled products. To date, confirmed complainants, or people for whom a complaint or adverse event was submitted and met the FDA’s complainant definition, are from less than 1 to 53 years of age. Almost all of the people are children younger than six years of age.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s National Center for Environmental Health is investigating the situation in collaboration with state and local health departments. 

The CDC’s case definition for state partners includes a blood lead level of 3.5 µg/dL or higher measured within three months after consuming a recalled WanaBana, Schnucks, or Weis brand fruit puree product after November 2022.  

As of Dec.22, the CDC had received reports of 73 confirmed cases, 157 probable cases, and 21 suspected cases for 251 cases from 34 states.

The CDC and FDA have different data sources, so the counts reported by each agency will not directly correspond. In addition, some people affected by the contaminated product might be reflected in both the numbers reported by the FDA and the numbers reported by the CDC, so the numbers should not be added together. 

Recalled products still on store shelves
WanaBana apple cinnamon fruit puree pouches are sold nationally individually and in three-packs and have been available through multiple retailers, including Amazon and other online outlets, as well as Dollar Tree and Family Dollar/Dollar Tree combination stores.

The FDA has found, as of Dec. 13, recalled WanaBana Apple Cinnamon Puree products were still on the shelves at several Dollar Tree stores in multiple states. 

As of Dec. 19, the FDA also received a report that recalled WanaBana Apple Cinnamon Puree products may still be on shelves at Family Dollar/Dollar Tree combination stores. Consumers should not purchase this product.

Schnucks-brand cinnamon-flavored applesauce pouches and variety packs were sold at Schnucks and Eatwell Markets grocery stores. They have been removed from store shelves

Weis-brand cinnamon applesauce pouches are sold at Weis grocery stores and have been removed from store shelves.

About lead poisoning
Parents and caretakers should consult a healthcare provider and ask for blood tests if they suspect a child may have been exposed to the recalled cinnamon applesauce products. 

Short-term exposure to lead could result in the following symptoms: headache, abdominal pain/colic, vomiting, and anemia. 

Longer-term exposure could result in additional symptoms: irritability, lethargy, fatigue, muscle aches or muscle prickling/burning, constipation, difficulty concentrating/muscular weakness, tremors, and weight loss. 

Permanent consequences can lead to developmental delays and brain damage.

(To sign up for a free subscription to Food Safety News,click here)

Federal officials continue to receive reports of children with elevated levels of lead in their blood. An international investigation of cinnamon in applesauce products is ongoing.

As of Dec. 6 the Food and Drug Administration had received reports of 64 “adverse events” in children aged 6 and younger. The children are spread across 27 states. 

Three applesauce products have been recalled: Wanabana brand applesauce pouches sold nationwide and online and Schnuck’s and Weis brands of pouches sold regionally at those grocery store chains. The Schnucks brand of pouches were sold individually and in variety packs.

The Wanabana recall impacts markets outside of the United States. Customer information provided by the firm shows that product was also distributed to Cuba and the United Arab Emirates.

The FDA investigation has found that cinnamon from Ecuador was used in the production of the implicated applesauce products.

“The FDA is continuing to coordinate with Ecuadorian authorities on the investigation of the source of elevated lead levels in cinnamon apple pouches. In addition, the Ecuadorian authorities report that Negasmart’s cinnamon had higher levels of lead than allowed by Ecuador and that Negasmart, the supplier of cinnamon to Austrofoods, is currently under an Ecuadorian administrative sanctions process to determine the responsible party for the contamination,” according to the FDA’s outbreak update.

An import alert on cinnamon products from Ecuador has been initiated by the FDA and is blocking the entry of such products at U.S. ports of entry.

The FDA’s investigation began after public health officials noticed and reported children with elevated blood levels of lead. Those public health officials found all of the children had consumed applesauce that was later recalled. 

Federal testing showed that the recalled applesauce contained 200 times the amount of lead considered safe to consume. Elevated levels of lead have been reported as much as three months after children ate the applesauce.

Lead is toxic to humans and can affect people of any age or health status, but children are particularly susceptible to lead toxicity. Lead poisoning can result in several long-term problems, including developmental disorders and brain damage.

“These products have a long shelf life. Consumers should check their homes and discard these products. Most children have no obvious immediate symptoms of lead exposure,” according to the FDA. “If there’s suspicion that a child may have been exposed to lead, parents should talk to their child’s healthcare provider about getting a blood test.”

Short-term exposure to lead can result in the following symptoms: headache, abdominal pain, colic, vomiting, and anemia. Longer-term exposure could result in additional symptoms: irritability, lethargy, fatigue, muscle aches or muscle prickling/burning, constipation, difficulty concentrating, muscular weakness, tremors and weight loss.

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Public health officials have identified more children with elevated levels of lead in their blood after eating certain brands of cinnamon applesauce.

The count as of today, Nov. 22, stands at 52, up from 34 on Nov. 16, according to the Food and Drug Administration. The patients range from less than 1 year old to 4 years old and come from at least 22 states. 

Three recalls have been issued for implicated applesauce sold under the Wanabana, Schnucks, and Weis brands. The Wanabana brand was sold nationwide and online. The other brands were sold at regional grocery stores.

The FDA has become aware that the recalled Wanabana brand cinnamon applesauce is still for sale in several Dollar Tree stores in multiple states and is working with the company to ensure all remaining products are removed. The recall information on the implicated products can be found here.

“FDA’s leading hypothesis is that cinnamon used in these recalled pouches is the likely source of contamination for these products; however, the FDA has not yet been able to collect and test samples of the cinnamon used in the recalled products. The FDA is continuing to work with Ecuadorian authorities to investigate the source of the cinnamon. At this time, FDA has no indication that this issue extends beyond these recalled products, but to further protect public health, FDA is screening incoming shipments of cinnamon from multiple countries for lead contamination,” according to the agency’s outbreak notice.

The problem was initially discovered by public health officials in North Carolina during their investigation of children with high levels of lead in their blood. North Carolina officials identified WanaBana apple cinnamon fruit puree pouches as a potential shared source of exposure. As part of their investigation, North Carolina officials analyzed multiple lots of WanaBana apple cinnamon fruit puree, detecting extremely high lead concentrations.

The recall impacts markets outside of the United States. Customer information provided by the firm shows that the product was also distributed to Cuba and the United Arab Emirates.

Lead is toxic to humans and can affect people of any age or health status, but children are particularly susceptible to lead toxicity. Lead poisoning can result in several long-term problems, including developmental disorders and brain damage.

“These products have a long shelf life. Consumers should check their homes and discard these products. Most children have no obvious immediate symptoms of lead exposure,” according to the FDA’s alert. “If there’s suspicion that a child may have been exposed to lead, parents should talk to their child’s healthcare provider about getting a blood test.”

Short-term exposure to lead can result in the following symptoms: headache, abdominal pain/colic, vomiting, and anemia. Longer-term exposure could result in additional symptoms: irritability, lethargy, fatigue, muscle aches or muscle prickling/burning, constipation, difficulty concentrating/muscular weakness, tremors, and weight loss.

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