The Food and Drug Administration is urging parents and caregivers to throw out WanaBana apple cinnamon fruit puree pouches and get their children tested in an urgent recall over “extremely high concentrations of lead.” The recall covers all lot codes and expiration dates. Photo courtesy of the Food and Drug Administration
Oct. 30 (UPI) -- The Food and Drug Administration is urging parents and caregivers to throw out WanaBana apple cinnamon fruit puree pouches and get their children tested in an urgent recall over "extremely high concentrations of lead."
"Parents and caregivers of toddlers and young children who may have consumed WanaBana apple cinnamon fruit puree pouches should contact their child's healthcare provider about getting a blood test," the FDA advised in a statement Monday.
The recall covers all lot codes and expiration dates of WanaBana apple cinnamon fruit puree pouches, which are sold nationally through Amazon, Sam's Club and Dollar Tree, as well as other stores.
The FDA said it is working to have all of the contaminated product removed from the market.
While WanaBana has not commented, the FDA said the company has agreed to voluntarily recall its apple cinnamon pouches regardless of expiration.
WanaBana advertises its products as "derived from fresh fruits that meet quality, safety, legality and authenticity parameters."
"To achieve this, we have a team of highly qualified people, controlled processes and a food safety management system, which allows us to guarantee the safety of our products," WanaBana, which is co-headquartered in Chicago and Pittsburgh, states on its website.
While WanaBana's website advertises its product as a healthy, go-to snack of mango, kale, spinach, banana and strawberry, the apple cinnamon fruit puree pouches are no longer featured.
The lead concentrations were first discovered after health officials in North Carolina investigated elevated blood lead levels in four children and found that they had all consumed WanaBana apple cinnamon pouches.
According to the FDA, the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services analyzed "multiple lots" of the pouches and detected "extremely high concentrations of lead."
"The FDA has reviewed and supports NCDHHS's analytical findings and found that analytical results at this level could result in acute toxicity," the FDA advisory said.
Short-term exposure to lead can cause headaches, abdominal pain, vomiting, or anemia. Long-term exposure can lead to slowed growth and development, weight loss, hearing and speech problems, lethargy, muscle aches, constipation or tremors.
"Lead exposure in children is often difficult to see. Most children have no obvious immediate symptoms. 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," the FDA warned.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, lead exposure occurs by "touching, swallowing or breathing in lead or lead dust."
"No safe blood lead level in children has been identified," the CDC has said." Even low levels of lead in blood have been shown to negatively affect a child's intelligence, ability to pay attention, and academic achievement."
"Lead is toxic to humans and can affect people of any age or heath status," the FDA added. "Protecting children from exposure to lead is important to lifelong good health."