Federal health officials are warning parents and guardians not to buy WanaBana Cinnamon Apple Puree pouches or feed them to their children because the product may contain elevated levels of lead.
Children who had bags of fruit should be taken to a doctor for a blood test, i.e The Food and Drug Administration announced on Saturday.
After four children in North Carolina were found to have elevated blood lead levels, an investigation by state health and consumer agencies identified the bags “as a potential common source of exposure,” the FDA said. North Carolina health officials analyzed multiple samples of fruit puree and found “extremely high concentrations of lead,” the agency added.
The FDA reviewed the findings and said those levels of lead “could lead to acute toxicity.”
Fruit Puree Pouches are sold nationally and are available through multiple retailers, including Sam’s Club, Amazon, and Dollar Tree. WanaBana, based in Coral Gables, Fla., has agreed to voluntarily recall all WanaBana Cinnamon Apple Puree pouches, regardless of expiration date.
The company announced ua statement announced Sunday that it is working closely with the FDA to investigate the source of the contamination. “The company is committed to ensuring the safety of its products and the well-being of its consumers,” the statement said.
Children under 6 years old are at the highest risk for health problems from lead exposure, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Lead is toxic to people of any age or health status, but is more harmful to younger children because their bodies are still developing. Lead poisoning is often hard to spot in children because they usually have no obvious or immediate symptoms, according to the FDA
Lead toxicity can only be diagnosed through clinical testing, the agency says, and signs and symptoms vary depending on exposure. Short-term symptoms include headache, abdominal pain, vomiting, and anemia. In the long term, side effects can include irritability, lethargy, fatigue, constipation and difficulty concentrating.
Children in particular may experience brain and nervous system damage, learning and behavioral problems, and hearing and speech difficulties, according to the CDC