FDA Investigates Plant in Ecuador
U.S. health officials have launched an inspection of a plant in Ecuador that produced cinnamon applesauce pouches linked to dozens of cases of acute lead poisoning in U.S. children. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has identified contaminated cinnamon as the likely source of the lead.
Samples Collected from Austrofoods Plant
An FDA team is currently collecting samples from the Austrofoods plant, which shipped the now-recalled applesauce pouches sold widely at Dollar Tree and other stores across the U.S. Health officials in Ecuador found that the cinnamon supplied by Austrofood’s supplier had higher levels of lead than the country allows. The supplier, Negasmart, is facing sanctions as officials work to track down the source of the contaminated cinnamon.
64 Children Affected So Far
At least 64 children from 27 states have reported illnesses potentially linked to the contaminated applesauce pouches. These products were recalled in late October, and so far, all of the affected children are aged 6 or younger.
Recalled Brands and Retailers
The recalled applesauce pouches were sold under the brand names WanaBana, Schnucks, and Weis. They were available at Dollar Tree, on Amazon, and other online outlets.
Officials in North Carolina first reported cases of young children with high blood lead levels after consuming the pouches, which were found to contain extremely high levels of lead.