RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) — North Carolina officials announced Saturday that recalled “fruit puree pouches” are a potential shared source of lead exposure in several cases of elevated blood lead levels in children in part of the state.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration Saturday released an advisory that warns consumers not to buy or feed WanaBana apple cinnamon fruit puree pouches to toddlers and young children because the product may contain elevated levels of lead, according to a news release from the N.C. Department of Health and Human Services.
The WanaBana apple cinnamon fruit puree pouches are sold nationally through several retailers including Sam’s Club, Amazon and Dollar Tree.
The announcement came after an investigation by the U.S. FDA, N.C. health officials, local health departments, and the N.C. Department of Agriculture and & Consumer Services.
“As part of the investigation, NCDHHS analyzed multiple lots of the product, detecting extremely high concentrations of lead,” the news release said.
WanaBana has also agreed to voluntarily recall all apple cinnamon fruit puree pouches regardless of expiration.
In North Carolina, all blood lead test results for children under the age of 6 are reportable under law to the N.C. Department of Health and Human Services.
A child under six who has two consecutive blood lead test results greater than or equal to 5 micrograms per deciliter (µg/dl) is considered to have an elevated lead level and is eligible for a home investigation by N.C. Department of Health and Human Service and local health department staff to identify the source of the lead hazard, the news release said.
At the same time, the child’s health care provider is also notified to monitor their blood lead level to ensure the child’s levels decrease below the CDC reference value of 3.5 µg/dL once the identified source is removed. It was during several such investigations that the WanaBana brand of apple cinnamon puree pouches were identified as the likely source of lead hazard.
N.C. health officials recommend the following for consumers concerned about this report:
- If you have WanaBana brand apple cinnamon puree products in your home, do not eat them or feed them to your children. Dispose of the products immediately.
- Discuss blood lead testing with your medical provider if you are concerned about your child. NC health officials recommend all children be tested for lead during their well-child visit at age 1 and again at age 2, when hand-to-mouth behavior is highest.
- Choose foods or spices with detailed product labels that allow the products to be traced in the event of a recall or other evidence of contamination.
According to the U.S. FDA, short-term exposure to lead could result in the following symptoms:
- Abdominal pain/Colic