Nov 7, 2023
Cinnamon, not apples, focus of lead contamination recalls

Multiple companies involved in a recent cinnamon applesauce pouch recall confirm that cinnamon, not apples, are the source of contamination in their products.

As seen on national news, there are now three companies who have recalled their cinnamon applesauce pouches due to possible lead contamination. They are:
Weis Markets

Cinnamon, and not apples, is the focus of an investigation into lead contamination of applesauce and apple puree. Photo courtesy of FDA.

Since last week, the U.S. Apple Association (USApple) has been in communication with the manufacturer, Ecuador-based Austrofood, and the Food and Drug Administration to understand the source of the contamination. The first company to recall their products, WanaBana, confirmed to USApple after an in-depth analysis that apples did not cause the lead contamination that resulted in their recall of apple cinnamon fruit puree pouches. WanaBana says “the investigation is currently focusing on cinnamon as potentially being responsible for this issue, as all other ingredients have been now cleared,” according to a USApple news release.

Schnucks has also identified cinnamon as the contaminated ingredient in their product. According to Schnucks, there were “elevated levels of lead found in the cinnamon raw material.”

“Historically, U.S. apple products have never had an issue with lead toxicity, and as details of this investigation continue to emerge, thankfully that appears to remain the case,” Jim Bair, president and CEO of USApple, said in the release.

Since 1990, the FDA has published an annual report on certain contaminants found in U.S. food products. No apples, apple juice or apple products have been found to have any level of lead that would be of concern. The FDA’s Total Diet Study from 2018-20 also shows no lead detected in fresh apples, apple juice or baby food applesauce.

USApple is continuing to monitor this issue and will provide updates as appropriate.

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