Dollar Tree Faces FDA Warning for Recalled Snacks

( – The Food and Drug Administration last week announced that it had sent a warning letter to discount retail chain Dollar Tree for failing to effectively remove lead-tainted applesauce pouches from its shelves following a product recall in October 2023.

In a June 11 letter, the FDA warned Dollar Tree that the recalled WanaBana applesauce pouches, distributed by Negasmart in Ecuador, remained on store shelves in some states through the end of December, despite the recall notice.

In late October, Wanabana voluntarily ordered a recall of its applesauce pouches due to elevated levels of lead and chromium. The applesauce was linked to reported illnesses in more than 500 children.

The CDC said there were probable or confirmed cases of elevated lead levels among children in 44 states from eating the applesauce. Officials declared the outbreak over in April this year.

Despite the recall, some Dollar Tree locations left the product on the shelves for two months.

While Dollar Tree said they discontinued sales of the product at registers, the FDA determined that this was “not an effective measure” since at least one child in the state of Washington ate the applesauce in the store before the item was taken to the cash register.

The Virginia-based retail company said in a June 18 email that since then, Dollar Tree has been under new management and has taken steps to ensure recalls are “quickly and effectively” executed.

Dollar Tree has over 16,000 locations in 48 states.

While FDA officials said there was no indication that Negasmart has attempted to import further products into the United States, multiple import alerts were placed on the Ecuadoran company in June to ensure that any attempts to import products would be flagged by the FDA to prevent them from reaching US consumers.

The same applesauce pouches were sold under the brand names Schnucks and Weis. Due to the extended expiration dates on the products, some consumers may have the recalled applesauce in their homes and should dispose of them.

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