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Montanans Should Discard Recalled Products

Federal, state, and local officials are urging Montanans to check their homes, child care facilities and schools for the recalled cinnamon-containing applesauce or apple puree products and discard them immediately.

The Department of Public Health and Human Services also urges medical providers to continue to monitor for possible cases of lead poisoning in children potentially associated with consuming the recalled products.

According to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, there have been 57 reports of adverse events (e.g., person with symptoms or exposure to this product) potentially linked to tainted pouches of cinnamon apple puree and applesauce in 26 states, as of Nov. 30.

The following were recalled by the FDA due to reports of elevated levels of lead found in certain units of the products:

•WanaBana brand apple cinnamon fruit purée pouches

•Schnucks brand cinnamon applesauce pouches

•Weis brand cinnamon applesauce pouches According to the FDA and DPHHS, these products were sold at 19 Dollar Tree stores in Montana prior to the recall announcement and have been removed from all of these locations across the state.

These products are also sold and available nationally through multiple retailers, including Amazon and other online outlets. At least one purchase from an online source has been reported in Montana.

Montana is not among the 26 states with confirmed cases reported by the FDA; however, DPHHS and local public health officials are currently investigating four reports of children with elevated blood levels who also reported consuming the recalled products.

“These products have a long shelf life, so consumers are advised to check their homes and discard these products,” said Dr. Maggie Cook-Shimanek, public health physician at DPHHS. “If you think your child may have consumed recalled fruit pouches, you should talk to your child’s health care provider about getting a blood test for lead.”

There is no safe level of lead exposure, but the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention uses a marker of 3.5 micrograms per deciliter to identify children with blood lead levels higher than most.

In this outbreak, the reported symptoms of children with lead poisoning may include, but are not limited to, headache, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, a change in activity level and anemia.

Cook-Shimanek said children are more vulnerable to lead poisoning than adults because their nervous systems are still developing. Although children with lead exposure may have no apparent acute symptoms, even low levels have been associated with learning, behavioral and cognitive effects.

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