New reports of illness among children — including at least two in Texas — that might be linked to potentially lead-contaminated fruit puree pouches have led to more products being flagged for recall.
The Texas Department of State Health Services issued a health advisory on November 15 alerting the public to recent reports of children testing positive for high blood lead levels. These reports have led to Missouri-based Schnucks Markets and Pennsylvania-based Weis Markets issuing recall notices affecting some of their applesauce products due to the possible presence of hazardous lead levels.
A news release from Schnucks Markets on November 3 initially explained that its supplier Purcell International had alerted them to high concentrations of lead in the raw cinnamon product manufactured by its partner Austrofood SAS. Three Schnucks products were affected:
- Schnucks Cinnamon Applesauce Pouch (12 pk.), UPC 4131801152.
- Schnucks Cinnamon Applesauce Pouch (4 pk.), UPC 4131801155.
- Schnucks Applesauce Pouch Variety (20 pk.), UPC 4131801157.
For its part, Weis Markets has only flagged one lot of its own brand of fruit puree product. The lot number is 05023:28, the UPC is 41497216123, and the “best if used by” date is 7/28/2024.
Both companies advise consumers to stop eating the affected products immediately and either toss them or bring them back to the store they purchased them from for a refund. More importantly, they stress monitoring anyone who might have eaten the products for signs of lead poisoning, including muscle aches, headaches, vomiting, and lethargy.
The recalls come shortly after the Florida-based snack company WanaBana announced it had found elevated lead levels in its fruit puree products.
As previously reported in The Dallas Express, the FDA urged consumers to stop consuming WanaBana apple cinnamon fruit puree pouches in late October after reports that four children fell ill due to high levels of lead in their blood. A subsequent investigation into the fruit pouches reportedly found very high concentrations of this toxic metal.
The FDA has enlarged its investigation of these reports of lead contamination, reporting that so far 22 cases have been documented in 14 different states.