Dollar Tree gets FDA warning letter over recalled applesauce pouches

FDA warns Dollar Tree for failing to remove lead-tainted WanaBana Apple Cinnamon Fruit Puree pouches, leading to dozens of child illnesses - FDA

The agency says the product, recalled in October, is still being sold

Last fall Wanabana USA launched a recall of all WanaBana Apple Cinnamon Fruit Puree pouches because they contained too much lead. The product was pulled from store shelves – but apparently, not all store shelves.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has sent a warning letter to Dollar Tree, telling the discount chain that laboratory analysis of multiple lots of WanaBana Apple Cinnamon Fruit Puree pouches, including finished product samples collected from Dollar Tree stores, detected extremely high concentrations of lead. 

In mid-November, the FDA said it began to receive reports of children sickened after eating the applesauce. At the time the agency said it believed at least 22 children were made sick by lead exposure.

The agency said since the recall, it has continued to receive reports from state health agencies that the tainted products were still being sold at many Dollar Tree stores across the U.S., resulting in an FDA Recall Audit Check (RAC) of Dollar Tree’s compliance.

“Based on FDA’s review of the RAC data from state and local partners, the agency determined that, through December 19, 2023, the recall was ineffective at the retail level due to Dollar Tree’s failure to adequately remove recalled product from Dollar Tree store shelves,” the warning letter stated. 


In an email to ConsumerAffairs, Los Angeles environmental attorney Vineet Dubey, said Dollar Tree should be held accountable to the full extent of the law.

“The pouches left on the shelves were known to contain dangerously high levels of lead, they should have all been taken off the shelves days, if not hours, after the FDA recall,” Dubey said.

The FDA said its letter to Dollar Tree is intended to notify the company of FDA concerns and provide Dollar Tree the opportunity to address them.

“Failure to adequately address this matter may result in legal action, including, without limitation, seizure and injunction,” the letter concluded.

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