In addition to very high levels of lead, the FDA found high levels of chromium in cinnamon applesauce products marketed to children.
The applesauce in question was manufactured by the Ecuadorian company Austrofoods and sold in the United States under the Wanabana, Schnucks, and Weis brand names. All of the cinnamon applesauce involved, sold in pouches, has been recalled, but there are some reports that the WannaBana brand is still on shelves at Dollar Tree stores.
The Food and Drug Administration tested the suspected cinnamon applesauce and found lead levels 2,000 times higher than the proposed safe level. The agency and Ecuadorian authorities determined that cinnamon in applesauce was the source of the lead.
Additional testing by the FDA detected excessive chromium levels in samples of cinnamon applesauce and the cinnamon used to make it. The levels of chromium detected in cinnamon samples were 1201 and 531 parts per million (ppm).
According to the FDA’s latest information, “People who ate the recalled products, especially those who had elevated blood lead levels, may have been exposed to chromium and should monitor their health and take appropriate action as necessary. Health care providers should be informed so that supportive care can be provided.”
“Chromium is a naturally occurring element. It is an essential micronutrient important to the diet and exists primarily in two forms: chromium (III) and chromium (VI). Chromium (VI) ). Due to limitations in available testing methods, FDA has determined the form of chromium (i.e., whether the chromium present is chromium (III) or chromium (VI)) in cinnamon apple puree samples. could not be clearly determined.”
Symptoms of chromium exposure from eating contaminated food may be nonspecific. Some people may have no symptoms. Consuming more than the recommended dietary amount of chromium can cause abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, anemia, and impaired kidney and liver function.
In addition to testing for chromium, the FDA also tested for cadmium in samples of the implicated applesauce, but trace levels of these elements were found in the cinnamon collected from the Austro Foods facility in Ecuador and in the recalled products. No detections were made.
As of Jan. 2, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported a total of 287 patients from 34 states with elevated blood lead levels.
The Food and Drug Administration had received reports of 82 children with lead poisoning as of Dec. 26. Authorities use different reporting methods, so the numbers may overlap in some cases and should not be added up as a total.
About lead poisoning
Parents or guardians should contact their health care provider and order a blood test if they suspect their child may have been exposed to a recalled cinnamon applesauce product.
Short-term exposure to lead can cause symptoms such as headaches, abdominal pain/colic, vomiting, and anemia.
Long-term exposure may result in additional symptoms such as irritability, lethargy, fatigue, muscle pain or tingling/burning, constipation, difficulty concentrating/weakness, tremors, and weight loss.
Lasting effects can lead to developmental delays and brain damage.