Apple Sauce Pouches Recalled As Dozens Of Children Suffer

( – The U.S. Food and Drug Administration is investigating a food processing center in Ecuador after more than 60 children under the age of 6 became ill with suspected lead poisoning from eating apple sauce.

The Centers for Disease Control reports that children from 14 states have been sickened after ingesting lead tainted apple sauce, with symptoms including headache, vomiting, stomachache, and anemia.

Officials with the FDA are conducting their investigation in Ecuador at a company called Austrofoods, and they’re currently collecting ingredients for further testing.

These illnesses follow a recall of 3 different brands of apple sauce starting on October 31st of this year.

Included in the recall are cinnamon apple sauce pouches from the brands Schnucks, Wanabana and Weis.

The brands all reportedly acquired lead-tainted cinnamon from a single Ecuadorian company called Negasmart. According to Ecuadorian officials, Negasmart’s cinnamon contains levels of lead higher than the legal limit.

Secretary-designee Kirsten Johnson from the Department of Homeland security warned that lead is highly toxic and, “there is no safe level for any young person.”

Officials from the CDC caution parents not to purchase or feed their children apple sauce packets from the recalled brands.

The CDC also recommends throwing away all apple sauce on the recall list, however, no other apple sauce products appear to be impacted.

The FDA says, “At this time, sample analyses have not shown elevated levels of lead in any non-recalled products.”

It’s unknown if lead-tainted cinnamon from Negasmart was used in other products, but Negasmart reportedly does not export pure cinnamon directly to the US.

At this point the breadth of lead poisoning is unknown, given that unlike with other pathogen-related foodborne outbreaks that can be genetically linked, it’s difficult to verify a single source.

The FDA’s investigation is ongoing, and officials plan to release more information as it becomes available.

If you believe you or someone you know has been exposed to or ingested lead, or if you’re showing symptoms of lead poisoning, the FDA recommends contacting your health care provider.

Copyright 2023,