Applesauce Pouches Tainted With Lead Sicken Over 50 Children, FDA Says

Contaminated pouches have been recalled but the FDA fears many have yet to be pulled from shelves. See why the popular snacks pose a risk to kids and how to keep your child safe.
save article
profile picture of Wyndi Kappes
By Wyndi Kappes, Associate Editor
Updated November 27, 2023
apple cinnamon applesauce pouches recall 2023
Image: WanaBana, Schnucks, Weis

Over the past few years, fruit puree pouches have skyrocketed in popularity. You can find different flavors and brands in lunchboxes across America, on the sidelines at sporting events and in the car for an after-school snack.

But the safety of these popular pouches has recently been called into question. Just a little over a week after WanaBana recalled its apple cinnamon fruit puree pouches due to elevated lead levels, two more companies have been forced to recall theirs due to the same issue.

As the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) continues its investigations into applesauce pouches across different brands, it warns parents not to buy, eat, or serve apple cinnamon fruit pouches.

The organization confirms that 52 children under age 4 in 25 states so far have been sickened by pouches contaminated with lead. Despite recalls, the FDA fears pouches may still be on shelves in stores like Dollar Tree. Here’s what you need to know.

What applesauce pouches are being recalled and why?

On November 3, The FDA issued an update of its recall on WanaBana apple cinnamon fruit puree pouches.

In addition to recalling all lot codes and expiration dates of WanaBana’s apple cinnamon fruit puree pouches, the FDA has now issued a recall of certain Schnucks brand cinnamon-flavored applesauce pouches and Weis brand cinnamon applesauce pouches. All three brands are being recalled due to elevated lead levels that could prove dangerous to kids.

The North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services (NCDHHS) first identified WanaBana apple cinnamon fruit puree pouches as a potential shared source of exposure after four children were found to have elevated blood lead levels, indicating potential acute lead toxicity.

As part of their investigation, NCDHHS analyzed multiple lots of WanaBana apple cinnamon fruit puree, detecting extremely high concentrations of lead. The FDA has reviewed and supports NCDHHS’s analytical findings and found that analytical results at this level could result in acute toxicity.

Since the first alert was issued, this investigation has been transferred to FDA’s Coordinated Outbreak Response & Evaluation (CORE) Network for additional follow-up, in collaboration with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

FDA has identified 52 cases of sickened children under age 4 in 25 states. To determine the source of lead contamination and whether additional products are linked to illnesses, the FDA is conducting an ongoing investigation.

Why should parents be concerned?

Lead is toxic to humans and can affect people of any age or health status. However, studies have shown children under two are especially vulnerable to lead. According to a previous FDA report, low levels of lead exposure in children can lead to “learning disabilities, behavior difficulties and lowered I.Q.” as well as immunological and cardiovascular effects.

What should I do if my child has ingested a WanaBana, Weis or Schnucks pouch?

The FDA urges parents whose children may have consumed a recalled pouch to should contact their child’s doctor about getting a blood test. Lead exposure can only be properly diagnosed via a blood sample.

Symptoms of lead exposure in children may be hard to spot but include headache, abdominal pain and vomiting, with longer-term exposure symptoms also potentially including fatigue, irritability, constipation, muscle aches or a sensation of prickling/burning and more.

How can I protect my child?

If you have recalled pouches in your home, throw them away and do not purchase additional pouches. The FDA is working to remove the products from shelves and track any incidences of lead poisoning. If you want to learn more about the recall or report your child’s symptoms, visit

save article
Article removed.
Name added. View Your List

Next on Your Reading List

mom and baby playing in the pool on a summer day
When Can Babies Go in a Pool?
Medically Reviewed by Dina DiMaggio Walters, MD
pregnant mom and daughter using the barbecue on a summer day
10 Summer Food Rules to Follow While Pregnant
Medically Reviewed by Kendra Segura, MD
close up of baby formula with scoop
Harmful Bacteria Found in Crecelac Goat Milk Infant Formula, FDA Says
By Wyndi Kappes
dad making peanut butter sandwich with baby at home
Early Intro of Peanut Butter Could Cut Baby's Allergy Risk by 70%
By Wyndi Kappes
opened ham and cheese lunchables on table
Consumer Reports Urges USDA to Remove Lunchables From School Lunches
By Wyndi Kappes
mcdonalds happy meal for kids
These Are the Healthiest Fast Food Kid’s Meals, Study Shows
By Wyndi Kappes
trader joes chicken soup dumplings recall 2024
This Family-Favorite Trader Joe's Item Has Been Recalled
By Wyndi Kappes
quaker oats recall 2024
Quaker Issues Recall of Various Products Due to Salmonella Risk
By Wyndi Kappes
baby sitting in high chair
When Can Babies Eat Eggs?
Medically Reviewed by Dina DiMaggio Walters, MD
wrapped kraft singles american cheese recall
Why Over 83,000 Cases of Kraft Singles Have Been Recalled
By Wyndi Kappes
Packaged Baby Foods-hero
Best Baby Food: Jars, Pouches, Cereals and Snacks
By Martina Garvey
baby being fed baby food
Study Finds Heavy Metals Still Found in Popular Baby Foods
By Wyndi Kappes
gerber baby formula recall march 2023
Voluntary Recall Issued for Gerber Good Start SoothePro Formula
By Wyndi Kappes
Enfamil ProSobee Simply Plant-Based Infant Formula Recalled
The Makers of Enfamil Recall 145,000 Cans of Plant-Based Formula
By Wyndi Kappes
mother feeding baby food to baby at home
The FDA Proposes New Limits on Lead in Baby Food
By Wyndi Kappes
father handing his son a peanut butter and jelly sandwich at the park
National Sandwich Day: Can You Guess American Kids' Sandwich Faves?
By Wyndi Kappes
capri sun wild cherry pouches recall 2022
Capri Sun Recalls 230,000 Wild Cherry Pouches Over Contamination
By Wyndi Kappes
Dads feeding their baby, baby food at kitchen table.
U.S. Lawmakers Are Finally Introducing a New Bill on Baby Food Safety
By Nehal Aggarwal
Three baby food jars of varying kinds.
FDA Announces New Actions to Reduce Toxic Elements in Baby Food
By Nehal Aggarwal
hands using blender to make healthy fruit based baby food
Pediatricians Weigh in: What to Know About Heavy Metals in Baby Food
By Dina DiMaggio, MD, and Anthony F. Porto, MD, MPH
Article removed.