The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has warned parents and caregivers not to buy or serve certain packages of pureed fruit sold for consumption by infants and young children, because it contains dangerous levels of lead.
Minors who have eaten WanaBana Apple Cinnamon Fruit Puree should be tested for possible lead poisoning, the agency stressed.
Four children in North Carolina were found to have high levels of lead in their blood linked to whipped fruit products, health officials reported. State health officials tested different batches of the product and found “very high” concentrations of lead. The FDA confirmed the results and noted that the concentration could result in “serious toxicity.”
WanaBana, based in Coral Gables, Florida, has removed all lot codes and expiration dates from its products, which are sold nationwide at retailers such as Sam’s Club, Dollar Tree and Amazon.
Lead is toxic to people of all ages, but can be especially harmful to children. Most children have no obvious symptoms, so it is important for those exposed to have their blood lead levels checked. Short-term exposure can result in symptoms such as headache, stomach discomfort, vomiting and anemia, the FDA said.
Heavy metals such as lead can enter foods through soil, water or industrial processes, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP). Lead exposure can be very harmful to a child’s health, causing damage to the brain and nervous system, and slowing growth and development. There is no known safe level of lead exposure, the AAP adds.