FDA say Dollar Tree did not pull lead-contaminated applesauce from shelves for months

The United States Food and Drug Administration said that Dollar Tree reportedly left lead-tainted applesauce pouches on its store shelves for about two months after a recall went into effect.

The FDA said that it sent out a warning letter to Dollar Tree earlier this month, The Associated Press reported. The letter claimed that in multiple states, the WanaBana applesauce pouches were left on the store shelves through December, which was about two months after the recall was announced.

The FDA placed the WanaBana applesauce pouches under a recall back in Oct. 2023 because they were found to have high levels of lead and chromium in them. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention per the AP, children in about 44 states had confirmed or possible cases of elevated blood levels after ingesting the contents of the pouches.

The outbreak of possible or confirmed cases was declared over back in April, the AP reported.

Dollar Tree replied to an email from the AP saying that it is under new management and reworking its recall process.

“In October 2023, Dollar Tree took immediate action and began executing a recall of WanaBana’s Apple Cinnamon Fruit Puree Pouch upon being notified of the issue with the product. We continue to cooperate with FDA on this matter,” the company said in an emailed statement obtained by CBS News.

“Importantly, when a food is recalled, retailers play a crucial role in carrying out the recall by ensuring that recalled products are not available to consumers at their stores. The Agency is concerned with Dollar Tree’s capability to quickly remove unsafe products from its store shelves as necessary and as required during a public health threat, such as a recall,” the FDA said in a statement.

“The FDA has asked the company to respond within 15 days of receipt of the warning letter, stating the specific steps it has taken to address any violations and prevent the recurrence of violations or providing its reasoning and supporting information as to why the company believes it is not in violation of the law.”

Dollar Tree has over 16,000 stores in about 48 states, according to the AP.

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