PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — A national recall has been placed on multiple applesauce puree pouches due to high lead levels, and according to Multnomah County officials, one local child has already been confirmed to have an elevated blood lead level due to suspected exposure to the contaminated fruit puree.
The original public advisory was released by the Food and Drug Administration on Oct. 28, when they were initially investigating one brand of applesauce puree, WanaBana apple cinnamon fruit puree, as the cause of elevated blood lead levels in North Carolina.
On Nov. 3, the FDA expanded the advisory to include two more brands of applesauce, Schnucks brand cinnamon-flavored applesauce pouches and Weis brand cinnamon applesauce pouches.
According to Multnomah County officials, the products have a long shelf life and consumers should check their homes for the products and immediately stop feeding them to children and get them tested regardless of if they are showing symptoms of lead poisoning.
Perry Cabot, a senior program specialist with the Multnomah County Health Department, said that so far only one case of elevated lead levels has been confirmed, but that doesn’t mean there won’t be more and that no level of lead is safe for children.
“Currently, Multnomah County has confirmed an elevated blood lead level case in a child that, based on an informational interview, consumed WanaBana apple cinnamon fruit puree pouches within the last 30 days,” said Cabot. “Parents or caregivers who think their child may have consumed any of the recalled fruit pouches should talk to their child’s healthcare provider about getting a blood test. There is no safe level of lead in the blood for children, and even low levels can have lifelong health impacts.”
A spokesperson from Multnomah County later clarified the exposure is suspected because the parent of the child with the confirmed elevated lead levels had eaten the impacted product, but added “there is no sample available for lab analysis.”
Short-term exposure to lead can result in headaches, abdominal pain, vomiting and anemia.
Long-term exposure can have more severe impacts such as irritability, lethargy, fatigue, muscle aches or prickling, constipation, difficulty concentrating, headaches, tremors and weight loss.