WanaBana Apple Cinnamon Fruit Pouches Recalled Due To Lead Levels

All WanaBana apple cinnamon fruit purée pouches, regardless of expiration date or lot code, have been urgently recalled by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for containing dangerous levels of lead, reads a statement issued by the FDA on October 28, 2023. Further, parents and caregivers of children believed to have eaten from a tainted pouch are urged to schedule a blood test with the child's healthcare provider as soon as possible. WanaBana pouches are sold throughout the United States at Dollar Tree, Sam's Club, and online through Amazon.

Though lead exposure can affect anyone, children are especially susceptible to its effects, but they may not show telltale signs immediately. If it is believed a child may have been exposed, the FDA advises that they have their blood tested as soon as possible. Parents should also watch for obvious signs of lead exposure which can include headache, vomiting, fatigue, muscle aches, tremors, and abdominal pain, among others. The FDA strongly recommends seeking immediate care if a child displays any of these symptoms. 

Additionally, complaints and any "adverse event" can be reported to the FDA by speaking directly with a Consumer Complaint Coordinator, completing an electronic Voluntary MedWatch form, or filing a paper Voluntary MedWatch form and mailing it to the FDA. This news comes after the FDA vowed to crack down on lead contaminants in baby food in early 2023. As part of the recall, WanaBana stated (via Today.com) that all affected pouches can also be returned to the place of purchase for a full refund. 

Cases were first reported in North Carolina

The North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services (NCDHHS) and the North Carolina Department of Agriculture & Consumer Services (NCDA&CS) first alerted the FDA to the problem after analyzing blood samples from four children and finding higher than normal lead levels, according to the FDA's statement. After identifying WanaBana apple cinnamon fruit pouches as a common denominator in the cases, the NCDHHS tested a range of different lots of the product and confirmed that it contained dangerous amounts of lead and was the source of the problem. 

WanaBana then began a full voluntary recall of the pouches. "In North Carolina, all blood lead test results for children under the age of 6 are reportable to NCDHHS," reads a statement from the NCDHHS. "A child under 6 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 NCDHHS and local health department staff to identify the source of the lead hazard ... It was during several such investigations that the WanaBana brand of apple cinnamon purée pouches was identified as the likely source of lead hazard."

WanaBana produces a range of products with a focus on South American fruits, such as guanabana, as well as mango, pineapple, and banana. Further, the company states on its website that it is "committed to satisfying our consumers and exceeding the expectations of our customers through the elaboration of products derived from fresh fruits that meet quality, safety, legality, and authenticity parameters."