Some bags of apple juice recalled by the FDA
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Federal health officials are expanding an investigation into potentially lead-contaminated bags of apple-cinnamon fruit puree marketed to children amid reports of more illnesses and additional product recalls.
The US Food and Drug Administration said Friday that it has received reports of seven illnesses in at least five states that may be linked to the contaminated mush.
Two new companies, Schnucks Markets in St. Louis and Weis Markets in Sunbury, Pennsylvania, announced a recall of some cinnamon apple juice products because they may contain high levels of lead. WanaBana, of Coral Gables, Fla., has recalled all quantities and expiration dates of its Apple Cinnamon Fruit Puree.
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Food and Drug Administration officials said eating the contaminated products could lead to “acute toxicity.” Parents and caregivers should not purchase or serve cinnamon apple juice products, which are sold through many retailers, including Amazon, Dollar Tree, and in Schnucks and Eatwell Markets grocery stores.
The agency said children and others who have consumed these products should be tested for lead poisoning.
The investigation has begun in North Carolina, where health officials are looking into reports of four children with high blood levels linked to the WanaBana product. State health officials analyzed multiple quantities of the product and discovered “extremely high” concentrations of lead. The US Food and Drug Administration confirmed the results.
The FDA’s Coordinated Outbreak Response and Evaluation Network is leading the investigation in collaboration with the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and state and local health officials.
Lead is toxic to people of all ages, but it can be especially harmful to children. Most children do not have obvious symptoms, so it is important that children who are exposed to lead be tested for lead levels in their blood. The US Food and Drug Administration said short-term exposure to lead can lead to symptoms including headache, abdominal pain, vomiting and anemia.
Heavy metals such as lead can get into food products from soil, air, water or industrial processes, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics. Exposure to lead can seriously harm children’s health, causing brain and nervous system damage and slowed growth and development. The American Academy of Pediatrics said there is no known safe level of lead exposure.
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