Garden of Life has announced they have isolated the ingredient in their RAW Meal Organic Shake and Meal Replacement Products that was potentially contaminated with Salmonella. Those products are linked to a multistate outbreak of Salmonella Virchow that has sickened at least eleven people. One person has been hospitalized.
The ingredient is Organic Moringa Leaf Powder from a third party supplier. This ingredient was only used in RAW Meal products. Other Garden of Life products use Moringa Leaf Powder obtained from other suppliers.
You can see the long list of recalled products, along with lot numbers, UPC numbers, and expiration dates, at the FDA web site. These products have a long shelf life and they are most likely in consumer’s homes. If you have any of these products, do not use them. Throw them away in a sealed container or return them to the place of purchase for a refund.
Utah and Oregon health officials found Salmonella bacteria in open containers of Garden of Life RAW Meal collected from ill person’s homes. Of the ten ill people who have been interviewed so far, 100% reported consuming powdered supplements or meal replacement powders the week before they got sick, and all of them specifically reported consuming Garden of Life RAW Meal products. These products were available for sale nationwide in retail stores and online.
All of those sickened in this outbreak are infected with the same strain of Salmonella Virchow. They live in nine states. The case count per state is: Minnesota (2), New Jersey (2), New Mexico (1), Ohio (1), Oklahoma (1), Oregon (1), Tennessee (1), Utah (1), and Wisconsin (1). Illness onset dates range from December 5, 2015 to January 21, 2016. The patients range in age from 8 to 76 years, with a median age of 35.
Any illnesses that may have occurred after January 8, 2016, may not yet be reported to officials because it takes time between when a person becomes sick and when they visit a doctor, are diagnosed, and the illness is reported.
The CDC states, “the epidemiologic and laboratory evidence available at this time suggest that RAW Meal Organic Shake & Meal products made by Garden of Life, LLC are a likely source of this outbreak. The investigation is ongoing.”
If you ate any of these products and have experienced the symptoms of Salmonella food poisoning, see your doctor. Those symptoms include nausea, vomiting, abdominal cramps, diarrhea that may be bloody, fever, chills, headache, and muscle pains. Symptoms usually begin six to seventy-two hours after exposure to the pathogenic bacteria.
Most people recover on their own after a Salmonella infection, but some people become so ill they must be hospitalized. And even after a full recovery, some can suffering long term complications from this infection, including Reiter’s Syndrome, which can cause reactive arthritis, high blood pressure, and irritable bowel syndrome.