FDA has 69 complaints of lead in applesauce, including 3 in Ky.

Published 10:11 am Thursday, December 21, 2023

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The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has received 69 complaints/reports of adverse events potentially linked to high levels of lead in recalled applesauce products, including three in Kentucky.

The FDA says, as of Dec. 19, all confirmed complainants, or people for whom a complaint or adverse event was submitted, are under 6 years of age, and have occurred in 28 states.

In addition to the FDA investigation, as of Dec. 15, the Centers for Disease Control and prevention (CDC) received reports of 67 confirmed cases, 122 probable cases, and 16 suspected cases for a total of 205 cases from 33 different states, through their reporting structure.

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

The recalled applesauce pouches include:

  • WanaBana brand apple cinnamon fruit puree pouches.
  • Schnucks brand cinnamon applesauce pouches.
  • Weis-brand cinnamon applesauce pouches.

Photos of the recalled products accompany this story.

The source of the lead appears to be in cinnamon that was processed at a facility in Ecuador, and the FDA says their investigation is ongoing to determine the point of contamination and whether additional products are linked to illnesses.

The FDA notes that lead is toxic to humans of any age but protecting children from exposure is especially important because they are more susceptible to the harms of lead. It can damage a child’s brain and nervous system and impact their growth, behavior and ability to learn.

To properly discard the product, the FDA says consumers and retailers should carefully open the pouch and empty the content into a trash can before discarding the packaging, to prevent others from salvaging recalled product from the trash. Clean up any spills after discarding the product then wash your hands.