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The recall was issued in October 2023 after extremely high levels of lead and chromium were found in the applesauce pouches.

FDA: Dollar Tree kept recalled item in stock for months

Over 500 children were reported sick after eating the applesauce

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) says Dollar Tree failed to remove recalled applesauce pouches for months, reports the Associated Press.

The discount retailer received a warning letter from the FDA, and Negasmart, which distributes WanaBana apple cinnamon pouches and is based in Ecuador, is now under import alerts. Under an import alert, attempts by the company to import products to the U.S. are blocked by FDA reviewers before being distributed to stores.

The recall was issued in October 2023 after extremely high levels of lead and chromium — more than 2,000 times higher than the maximum level outlined by the FDA — were found in the applesauce pouches. Over 500 children became sick after ingesting the product.

According to the FDA, some Dollar Tree locations kept the infected WanaBana apple puree products available to shoppers through late December, two months after the recall was issued.

Dollar Tree said the product was pulled if it reached the registers, but the FDA said that was not good enough as one child in Washington state ate one of the recalled pouches in the store before it was purchased.

A North Carolina family has sued WanaBana and Dollar Tree after their children suffered from lead poisoning after consuming the applesauce. The lawsuit says both companies should have made sure the food was safe before putting it on store shelves.

“Dollar Tree is committed to selling quality food and products, maintaining a safe environment for associates and customers, and complying with all laws and regulations,” Dollar Tree said in an emailed statement to Supermarket News. “Under our new management team, we are on a journey to transform our business and continue to take steps to significantly enhance and strengthen our compliance and safety programs and capabilities, including our process for quickly and effectively executing product recalls.”

The Chesapeake, Va.-based retailer operates 8,321 locations in the U.S. as of June 11, according to ScrapeHero.


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