The CDC is investigating the multistate outbreak of Salmonella Virchow linked to RAW Meal Organic Shake and Meal Replacement Products. Evidence available suggests that those products, manufactured by Garden of Life LLC of Florida, are the likely source of this outbreak.
At least 11 people in 9 states are sickened in this outbreak, and one person has been hospitalized as of February 1, 2016. No deaths have been reported. Of 10 people interviewed, 100% reported consuming powdered supplements or meal replacement powders the week before they got sick, and all specifically reported consuming Garden of Life RAW Meal products. The outbreak case count by state is: Minnesota (2), New Jersey (2), New Mexico (1), Ohio (1), Oklahoma (1), Oregon (1), Tennessee (1), Utah (1), and Wisconsin (1).
Illnesses started on December 5, 2015, and have gone, so far, to January 21, 2016. Patients range in age from 8 to 76 years, with a median age of 35. Fifty-five percent of ill persons are male.
Salmonella was isolated from open containers of Garden of Life RAW Meal products collected from ill person’s homes. Additional lab testing is ongoing to determine the DNA fingerprint of the pathogenic bacteria. Only one strain of Salmonella is included in this outbreak investigation; it is new to the PulseNet database.
On January 29, 2016 Garden of Life voluntarily recalled a limited quantities of its RAW Meal Organic Shake & Meal products available in chocolate, original, vanilla, and vanilla chai because they may be contaminated. These products have a long shelf life and may still be in people’s homes. Please check your pantry or kitchen shelves to see if you have any in your home.
Consumers should not eat and retailers should not sell these recalled products. They were available for purchase nationwide in many retail stores, and online. You can see the long list of recalled products, along with the lot number and expiration date, at the FDA web site.
The symptoms of Salmonella food poisoning include nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, diarrhea that may be bloody, fever, chills, headache, and muscle pains. These symptoms usually appear within 12 to 72 hours after infection, and usually last a few days.
While some people can recover without medical treatment, others become so ill they must be hospitalized. These complications can range from sepsis, which is a blood infection, to dehydration. And after a person recover, they can experience complications from this infection years later. Reactive arthritis, high blood pressure, and irritable bowel syndrome are some of the Salmonella infection complications.
If you have consumed this product and have experienced these symptoms, see your doctor. This illness should be noted on your medical chart, even if you don’t develop complications. If you have this product in your home, throw it away in a sealed or double bagged container or return it to the place of purchase, then wash your hands with soap and water.