Applesauce Contamination

Applesauce Contamination Lawsuits

Applesauce Products Contaminated by Lead During Manufacturing

In February 2024, Ecuadorian authorities and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced that several applesauce products manufactured in Ecuador had been contaminated with unsafe levels of lead. So far, more than 400 cases of lead poisoning with links to the contaminated applesauce have been reported. However, the FDA has warned that it has limited authority to conduct a full investigation in the foreign country.

When the authority of the government is limited, individuals can use the court system to obtain justice. Kershaw Talley Barlow is currently investigating the reports of applesauce contamination to see if civil action can be taken against those responsible for selling such an unsafe product, which has mostly affected children. Even very small levels of lead in children can lead to lifelong health and developmental issues. We are highly experienced with lead poisoning claims and litigation, including investigations and cases involving lead-contaminated schools in California and Detroit, Michigan. If you or your child was exposed to unsafe levels of lead after consuming contaminated applesauce products, we want to help you seek justice and compensation.

We can help you understand and use your rights. Call (916) 520-6639 and ask for an initial consultation.

How Did Applesauce Get Contaminated with Lead?

The FDA says that Ecuadorian investigators believe that lead chromate powder was added to cinnamon used in a spice grinder during the process of manufacturing a few different applesauce brands and products. No criminal investigation has been officially announced, but the FDA has stated that it suspects the lead contamination was deliberate.

Applesauce brands affected by the lead contamination include:

  • WanaBana Apple Cinnamon Fruit Puree Pouches
  • Schnucks Brand Cinnamon-Flavored Applesauce Pouches
  • Weis Brand Cinnamon-Flavored Applesauce Pouches

FDA inspectors have also warned that its ability to test products as they cross the border from various countries and ports of entry has weakened in the last few decades. As a result, it is not known how much, if any, of the contaminated applesauce from Ecuador was tested by government crews before it was then shipped to retail distribution centers.

Illnesses Caused by Contaminated Applesauce

Currently, the FDA estimates that at least 400 children in 43 states have been diagnosed with lead poisoning caused directly by consuming contaminated applesauce products. A spokesperson from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said that the median blood lead levels in the children who were tested and diagnosed were “six times higher than the average seen during the height of the Flint water crisis.” Many more children could be afflicted by lead poisoning but have not been diagnosed yet, too, because lead poisoning symptoms are not always immediate.

Medical experts warn that these symptoms could be early signs of lead poisoning:

  • Abdominal or joint pain
  • Constipation, nausea, vomiting, or other gastrointestinal issues
  • Learning disabilities or slow growth
  • Fatigue or loss of appetite
  • Hyperactivity or irritability
  • Headache, insomnia, or memory loss
  • Colic in babies (constant or frequent crying)

What You Should Do If You Own Lead-Contaminated Applesauce

If you own potentially contaminated applesauce and your child ate some of it, secure it in a childproof container and store it in a place that children and pets cannot access. Leave a clear note on the container that it is unsafe and should not be consumed. Contact your medical provider to discuss treatment options for your children and diagnostic testing of the contaminated applesauce. You should also keep any proof of purchase that shows you bought the lead-contaminated applesauce product.

Find Out If You Have a Contaminated Applesauce Case

If your child ate lead-contaminated applesauce and has been diagnosed with lead poisoning or a learning disorder, you may have grounds to file a claim against the manufacturers of the contaminated applesauce products. Even if your child has not been diagnosed with lead poisoning-like symptoms, product liability laws could possibly allow you to join a class action against the manufacturer just because you unknowingly purchased an unsafe product that put you and your family in danger. Kershaw Talley Barlow is investigating the situation to see if cases like yours are eligible to take legal action in pursuit of compensation and justice. Trust our highly experienced trial attorneys to steer your case in the right direction.

Contact Kershaw Talley Barlow online or talk to us directly by dialing (916) 520-6639. We are based in Sacramento but can help contaminated applesauce class action clients nationwide.

More Information

“Lead-Tainted Applesauce Sailed Through Gaps in Food-Safety System” (The New York Times)

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