FDA Issues Urgent Warning After Recall

(IntegrityPress.org) – The national discount chain Dollar Tree has been warned by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) after failing to act appropriately with regard to an urgent product recall.

On October 29, 2023, the FDA issued a recall for WanaBana’s apple cinnamon purée pouches, citing heavy metal contamination. Despite the dangers presented by such contamination, the FDA says that it found pouches still available on Dollar Tree shelves almost two months after the recall notice.

Dollar Tree officials claim that they did take appropriate action as although pouches were left on the shelves for customers to pick up, the actual sale was disallowed at the registers. The FDA says that this was not a good enough strategy, particularly as at least one child is known to have eaten a recalled pouch before reaching the register.

On June 11, the FDA wrote to Dollar Tree officials to give them the opportunity to address the FDA’s concerns and to clarify what steps have been taken to avoid such “ineffective” recall strategies in the future. The FDA warned that should an adequate response not be received within 15 working days, Dollar Tree may face legal action. Following the letter, Dollar Tree is understood to have said that it is operating under new management and is in the process of improving its recall-related procedures.

Samples of the recalled WanaBana applesauce showed high levels of lead and chromium, both of which are toxic to humans. Children are particularly at risk of poisoning, and according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), there is “no safe blood lead level”. Short-term symptoms include anemia, vomiting, headaches, and abdominal pain. Many children may not experience symptoms immediately but may in the future suffer from brain damage and learning difficulties.

By late March 2024, the CDC had received more than 500 reports of high blood levels of lead, with the reports coming in from across 44 states as well as Puerto Rico and Washington D.C. So far, 136 of those reports have been confirmed.

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