Why Did AppleSauce Get Recalled? Here’s What You Need to Know

Is there any AppleSauce recall in 2024? A severe health alert was issued in November 2023. High amounts of lead and chromium in certain brands of cinnamon applesauce pouches caused it. The recall included items from WanaBana, Schnucks, and Weis. It has caused anxiety among customers, especially parents.

This article explains the recall, the health hazards of lead and chromium exposure, and what customers should do. Read on to learn about the AppleSauce recall.

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What are all the affected products?

The FDA issued a recall of several AppleSauce pouches. The recall was issued after finding “extremely high concentrations’ of lead in WanaBana’s apple cinnamon fruit puree pouches. Additional testing showed the presence of chromium in several items. The recall was expanded to include Schnucks and Weis cinnamon applesauce pouches. It happened after similar issues were found in those products.

The FDA’s response changed from an ongoing inquiry to post-incident actions. Their efforts now focus on preventing further exposure and maintaining compliance with food safety rules.

The recall involved several brands and products, including:

  • WanaBana Apple Cinnamon Fruit Puree Pouches: Sold nationally through retailers like Amazon, Dollar Tree, Family Dollar, and other online outlets.
  • Schnucks Cinnamon-Flavored Applesauce Pouches and Variety Pack: Available at Schnucks and Eatwell Markets grocery stores.
  • Weis Cinnamon Applesauce Pouches: Sold at Weis grocery stores.

These products were recalled due to detecting high levels of lead and chromium. Despite their removal from the market, these applesauce pouches have a long shelf life. Therefore, customers need to check their pantries and discard any recalled products.

Despite the recall, some of these products were still on the shelves at Dollar Tree and other stores months after the press release. The failure to quickly remove affected products resulted in continued customer exposure. Also, many reports of adverse health impacts have been recorded.

Health risks from recalled products

Lead Toxicity:

These recalled applesauce products can cause Lead Toxicity. Lead is a toxic metal that can cause significant health problems, especially in children. Even low levels of lead exposure can be harmful. The symptoms of lead poisoning vary depending on the duration and level of exposure. Short-term exposure can cause:

  • Headache
  • Abdominal pain 
  • Vomiting
  • Anemia

Long-term exposure may lead to more severe symptoms, including:

  • Irritability
  • Lethargy
  • Fatigue
  • Muscle aches, prickling, or burning sensations
  • Constipation
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Muscular weakness
  • Tremors
  • Weight loss

Children are particularly vulnerable to lead poisoning. It’s because their bodies absorb lead more readily. Also, it can interfere with brain development. Thus leading to cognitive impairments and behavioral issues.

Chromium Exposure:

Chromium is another metal found in the recalled applesauce products. Chromium, in small amounts, is needed for human health. However, excessive exposure can be toxic. Chromium exposure can cause:

  • Skin and mucous membrane irritation
  • Chronic lung disease (with prolonged inhalation exposure)
  • Ulceration of the skin and mucous membranes

Chromium is a known carcinogen. It has been previously reported as a contaminant in spices and foods. The exact form of chromium in the recalled applesauce products is unknown. But its presence is a severe issue.

What should you do if you have recalled products?

applesauce recall

Severe illnesses led to the November 2023 recall of cinnamon applesauce pouches from WanaBana, Schnucks, and Weis. The incident was brought to light after reports of children suffering from lead poisoning symptoms, including headaches, stomach pain, and anemia.

Despite the recall, a few affected products remained on shop shelves. By March 2024, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) had identified over 500 cases of high blood lead levels. They were linked to the eating of these applesauce pouches in 44 states. It reveals 

There were major gaps in the recall’s efficacy and retailer compliance. This happened, particularly at Dollar Tree stores, where the goods were found months after the recall was announced.

If you have any of the recalled applesauce pouches, follow these steps:

  • Check your pantry. Identify and locate any WanaBana, Schnucks, or Weis cinnamon applesauce pouches.
  • Discard the product. Open the pouches, empty the contents into a trash can, and dispose of the packaging. This prevents others from consuming the recalled product.
  • Clean up any spills immediately, and wash your hands thoroughly.

If you doubt that you or your child may have consumed the recalled applesauce, look out for symptoms of lead exposure. Most children do not have immediate symptoms. So, you must consult a healthcare provider if you have any concerns.

  • Contact your healthcare provider: Discuss the possibility of lead exposure. Also, consider getting a blood test to check for elevated lead levels.
  • Monitor symptoms: Be aware of possible symptoms of lead toxicity. It’s especially true if your child has consumed the recalled product.

FDA’s response

The FDA’s initial reaction to the recall is being redirected to post-incident actions, including more monitoring and preventive measures, to ensure that no new illnesses develop. The FDA has also issued an alert to Dollar Tree for failing to take action and remove the recalled products from shop shelves.

The FDA will continue to review any additional reports of adverse events related to the recalled applesauce. It will take appropriate measures to avoid possible violations.

The CDC will offer updates on case findings and lead-related activities. Their primary focus is identifying and managing lead exposure cases, especially in kids. They will also ensure that public health measures are correctly enforced.

Conclusion

The recall of cinnamon applesauce pouches from WanaBana, Schnucks, and Weis stresses the importance of food safety and regulatory compliance. Customers should be careful when checking their homes for recalled products. They should take the necessary steps to dispose of them safely.

We should stay informed and proactive. This can help protect our health and the health of our loved ones in the face of food recalls and potential contamination issues.

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