Consumer Alert: Dollar Tree stores across Rochester sold lead-laden puree. What you need to know

Consumer Alert: Lead poisoning in applesauce, puree

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Today’s Consumer Alert is one every parent needs to hear. Recalled applesauce and puree widely sold on Amazon, Sam’s Club and Dollar Tree is sending kids to the hospital. Twenty-two toddlers have been treated for lead poisoning after eating the puree or applesauce, four of whom are little New Yorkers.

The products are the Wanabana Apple Cinnamon Fruit Puree as well as Schnucks and Weis Cinnamon Applesauce pouches.  They’re contaminated with extremely high levels of lead, so high that one child treated for lead poisoning had a blood lead level eight times higher than the level that raises concern.

Schnucks and Weis Cinnamon Applesauce pouches were sold at Weis stores in the Southern Tier of New York. But the Wanabana Apple Cinnamon Fruit Puree is sold on Amazon and Dollar Tree stores across our area.  The Rochester area no longer has a Sam’s Club.

So, has Dollar Tree pulled all the product off store shelves?  To find out, I went to three Rochester stores.  At the first two, I found Wanabana Puree pouches on shelves, but not the recalled one, Apple Cinnamon.  But at the Dollar Tree located at 821 Culver Road in Rochester, I found a recalled box of the puree on the bottom shelf.

So, I took the product to the register to see if the store has safeguards to protect consumers from potentially harmful recalled products. When the clerk scanned the barcode, the register beeped and the clerk got a message that the product could not be sold.

A manager assured me that when the product was recalled, she thought they had removed all of it, but obviously they missed one. The store’s safeguards provide another layer of protection to assure customers don’t buy this dangerous product.

Applesauce and puree are convenient snacks for every parent. It’s crucial that you check your pantry to assure you don’t have any of the product. Some of the symptoms of lead poisoning include a headache, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, fatigue, stomach pain and anemia.  Some kids show no immediate symptoms, so if your child ate those products, have them tested.

Long-term exposure to lead can cause lifelong effects in young children, which include learning disabilities, ADHD and behavioral problems as well as slowed growth and development. That’s why this recall is especially important for parents of young children and pregnant women. Health officials say if you have either of these products, you should throw them away immediately.