December 2, 2016

Garden of Life Salmonella Outbreak Spreads to 15 States, 18 Sick

garden-of-life-salmonella-outbreakThe Salmonella outbreak linked to Garden of Life shake and meal replacement mixes has spread to 15 states and sickened 18 people, according to an update from the the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). That’s an increase of six states and seven illnesses since the last update on February 1. Four people have been hospitalized.

On January 29, Garden of Life recalled some Garden of Life Raw Meal shake and meal replacement mixes after illnesses were reported, then expanded the product recall on February 12. Click the preceding link to see the full list of recalled products and their product identification information.

After identifying Moringa leaf powder supplied by a third party as the source of contamination, the company changed the recipe for the Raw Meal -omitting the contanimated ingredient and changed the label to help consumers identify the newly formulated product. Today, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced it had isolated Salmonella Virchow matching the outbreak strain from the organic Moringa powder used to make the recalled mixes.

Consumers who have the recalled product should not use it as Salmonella can cause serious illness. Symptoms of a Salmonella infection, which usually take between six and 72 hours to develop,  include diarrhea, abdominal pain and fever, can last up to a week. For some patients, invasive infections causing bloodstream infections, meningitis or death can occur. Those most at risk are children, seniors, pregnant women and those with compromised immunes systems.

State health officials in Oregon and Utah found Salmonella in open containers of Garden of Life RAW Meal collected from ill people’s homes. Additional laboratory testing is ongoing to determine the DNA fingerprint of the Salmonella.

According to the CDC, onset of illness dates range from December 5, 2015 to February 3, 2016. Case patients range in age from 1 year to 76 years old.  Newly reported cases were from the following states: Florida, Massachusetts, Maryland, North Carolina, Rhode Island, and Texas. Illnesses have now been reported from the following 15 states: Florida (1), Massachusetts (1), Maryland (1), Minnesota (2), New Jersey (2), New Mexico (1), North Carolina (1), Ohio (1), Oklahoma (1), Oregon (1), Rhode Island (1), Tennessee (1), Texas (1), Utah (2), and Wisconsin (1).

So far, 14 of the 18 people who have been sickened have been interviewed by health officials. All 14 said they consumed powdered supplements or meal replacement powders in the week before they became ill. And all 14 mentioned Garden of Life by name.

The CDC and FDA said the investigation of the outbreak is ongoing.

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