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FDA Detects Chromium In Recalled Applesauce

Federal, state, and local health officials continue to urge Montanans to check their homes, childcare facilities, and schools for recalled cinnamon-containing applesauce or apple puree products and discard them immediately.

Recent FDA product testing shows high levels of chromium in the recalled apple cinnamon puree pouches, in addition to high levels of lead.

The Department of Public Health and Human Services also urges medical providers to continue to monitor for possible cases of lead poisoning and chromium exposure in children who may have consumed the recalled products. Healthcare providers can refer to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Clinician Outreach and Communication Activity announcement for updated clinical guidance.

According to the FDA, people who ate the recalled products, especially if they had elevated blood lead levels, may have also been exposed to chromium. These individuals should talk with their healthcare provider about monitoring for signs and symptoms related to chromium exposure and whether additional testing is warranted.

The following products were recalled by the FDA in November 2023 due to reports of elevated levels of lead found in certain units:

•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 were 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 among the 38 states reporting individuals with elevated blood levels after consuming the recalled products. As of January 9, 2024, Montana has identified five individuals residing across Montana with elevated blood lead levels associated with consuming the recalled cinnamon-containing applesauce products.

“New information suggests these recalled applesauce products are contaminated with more than one heavy metal. If you think your child may have consumed recalled fruit pouches, you should talk to your child’s health care provider” said Dr. Maggie Cook-Shimanek, public health physician at DPHHS. “These products have a long shelf life, so consumers are advised to check their homes and discard them immediately.”

There is no safe level of lead exposure, but the CDC 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 who consumed the contaminated applesauce product may include, but are not limited to, headache, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, a change in activity level and anemia.

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