The fourth largest multistate food poisoning outbreak of 2016 was the Salmonella Virchow outbreak linked to Garden of Life RAW Meal Organic Shake and Meal products. At least 33 people in 23 states were sickened in this outbreak, and six people were hospitalized because their illnesses were so serious.
Garden of Life products have a long shelf life and may still be in some people’s homes. Check the recall list and make sure you don’t have any. If you do, throw them away in a double bagged container. Throw these products away even if some was consumed and no one got sick. Wash your hands well after handling this product.
The case count by state is: Alabama (1), California (2), Florida (1), Hawaii (1), Illinois (1), Massachusetts (1), Maryland (2), Michigan (1), Minnesota (3), New Jersey (2), New Mexico (1), New York (1), North Carolina (2), Ohio (2), Pennsylvania (1), Oklahoma (1), Oregon (1), Rhode Island (1), Tennessee (1), Texas (2), Utah (3), Wisconsin (1) and West Virginia (1). Illnesses started on dates ranging from December 5, 2015 to March 18, 2016. The patient age range is from less than 1 year to 84.
Information from PulseNet was used to identify patients in this outbreak. Pulsed field-gel electrophoresis was used to find patients sickened with the outbreak strain of Salmonella Virchow.
Epidemiologic and lab evidence indicates that RAW Meal Organic Shake & Meal Products made by Garden of Life, LLC were the likely source of this outbreak. Patients were interviewed about the foods they ate before they got sick. Of the 30 interviewed, 28, or 93%, reported consuming powdered supplements or meal replacement powders the week before they got sick. Twenty seven of those 28 people consumed RAW Meal products. Garden of Life voluntarily recalled their RAW products on January 29, 2016. The recall was expanded on February 13, 2016.
The Utah Public Health Laboratory and Oklahoma Public Health Laboratory isolated the outbreak strain of Salmonella Virchow from open containers of Garden of Life RAW Meal collected from ill person’s homes in Utah and Oklahoma. FDA sampling confirmed the presence of the outbreak strain of Salmonella Virchow in Organic Moringa Leaf powder used in RAW products.
The symptoms of a Salmonella infection include nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, diarrhea that may be bloody, fever, chills, and headache. These symptoms usually start six to seventy-two hours after exposure to the pathogen. Most people recover on their own, but some become so ill they are hospitalized.
Salmonella infections are underreported. Using the multiplier of 30.3, that means there could be 1,000 people who were sickened in this outbreak. If you consumed Garden of Life RAW meal shakes or products and were sick with the symptoms of Salmonella food poisoning, see your doctor.