FDA Warns Dollar Tree after Lead Recall

August 25, 2019 Pleasanton / CA / USA - Dollar Tree store entrance; Dollar Tree Stores, Inc., is an American chain of discount variety stores that sells items for $1 or less

(USNewsMag.com) – Dollar Tree failed to remove a recalled product, WanaBana Apple Cinnamon Fruit Puree pouches, from its shelves for weeks after a voluntary recall was announced by Wanabana USA, according to a warning letter sent by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

WanaBana Apple Cinnamon Fruit Puree pouches were recalled in November 2023 after the apple sauce was linked to dozens of more than 90 cases of lead poisoning in children across 32 states. Apple cinnamon products produced by other companies, including Weis and Schnucks, also contained elevated levels of lead and chromium. An analysis completed by the FDA showed that the cinnamon used in the cinnamon flavor, manufactured by a company based in Ecuador, was the source of the lead. However, the FDA has “limited authority” to do anything about the lead contamination because the product was manufactured by a company based in Ecuador.

In the June 11 letter sent to Dollar Tree, the FDA notes that the stores, including its Family Dollar stores, did not remove the recalled product from their shelves “despite FDA’s numerous attempts” to make the company aware of the seriousness of the issue. According to the letter, FDA officials and Dollar Tree company executives had multiple calls discussing removing and destroying the recalled product. In several states, the recalled product was still on store shelves a month after the recall, in late December 2023.

The federal health regulator wrote that by selling “adulterated food,” Dollar Tree violated the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act of 1938.

“Dollar Tree has not yet told the FDA about any “long-term, sustainable corrections” that the company has implemented “to prevent adulterated food” from being sold at its stores in the future, according to the FDA.

Within 15 days, Dollar Tree must respond to the FDA warning letter detailing measures the company has taken to remove the recalled product from its shelves, or the company could face legal action such as injunction and seizure.

Dollar Tree officials said the company, which is operating under new management, will initiate new rules to “quickly and effectively” remove recalled products from its shelves.

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