U.S. food inspectors found “extremely high” levels of lead in cinnamon at a plant in Ecuador that made applesauce pouches tainted with the metal, the Food and Drug Administration said Monday. The recalled pouches have been linked to dozens of illnesses in U.S. kids.
Cinnamon tested from the plant had lead levels more than 2,000 times higher than a maximum level proposed by the FDA, officials said.
The samples came from ground or powdered cinnamon from Negasmart, an Ecuadorian company that supplied the spice to Austrofoods, which made the pouches. The applesauce pouches were sold under three brands — WanaBana, Schnucks and Weis. Officials with Austrofoods did not respond to requests for comment about the investigation.
FDA said lead has not been detected in WanaBana products made without cinnamon and sold in the U.S.