The FDA and CDC have released an emergency recall alert for cinnamon applesauce pouches which have hospitalized 22 children due to lead exposure.
The FDA has encouraged people not to eat the cinnamon-recalled products and has asked stores to pull the products from their shelves and discard them. Since these pouches have a long shelf life, the FDA says that parents should check their pantries and make sure these products are tossed in the trash.
The CDC has issues a Health Alert Network Health Advisory for clinicians and health departments so they are aware of illnesses that could be linked to the lead exposure.
Products that have been recalled include:
- WanaBana apple cinnamon fruit puree pouches
- Schnucks cinnamon flavored applesauce pouches
- Weis cinnamon applesauce pouches
Stores who have pulled pouches from their shelves are:
- Dollar Tree
- Schnucks grocery stores
- Eatwell Markets grocery stores
- Weis grocery stores
The first report of lead was published on October 28, when four children had high blood lead levels; however, now 22 children — aged one to three years old — have reportedly been linked to these products. Patients were found to have high blood lead levels of four to 29 micrograms per deciliter (µg/dL). In typical children, zero to four (µg/dL) is considered very little, and five to 14 (µg/dL) is considered high, which requires action. Levels of 15 to 44 (µg/dL) are very high and require immediate action.
These products aren't only sold in the United States, either. Cuba and the United Arab Emirates have also be notified of the recall.
The states included in the recall are:
- New Mexico
- New York
- North Carolina
- South Carolina
What are the symptoms of lead toxicity?
The symptoms of lead toxicity are sometimes little to none.
Short-term exposure can lead to headaches, abdominal pain, vomiting, and anemia.
Long-term exposure may lead to irritability, fatigue, muscle aches, constipation, muscle weakness, tremors, and weight loss. Additionally, learning, behavioral, and cognitive deficits may also be a long term effect of lead exposure.
Lead exposure impact the central nervous system and children are more vulnerable when exposed.
This is an ongoing investigation and the FDA will update the advisory as they learn more.