A multistate salmonella outbreak prompted the recall of the vegan line of protein and meal replacement shakes.
Florida-based Garden of Life voluntarily issued a nationwide recall of its RAW Meal line after 11 people in nine states were sickened after drinking the shakes. Salmonella was found in open containers found in sickened customers’ homes. The recall was voluntarily issued on January 29, but some retailers may still have the products on store shelves.
People in Minnesota, New Jersey, New Mexico, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Tennessee, Utah and Wisconsin reportedly fell ill after drinking the products. One patient was hospitalized. Ten of the eleven interviewed specifically named chocolate or vanilla RAW Meal products in the list of foods consumed before the illness struck. Health officials in Oregon and Utah reported finding Salmonella in open containers found in patients’ homes. The CDC reports that the investigation is ongoing and researchers are trying to identify the salmonella strain’s DNA footprint. The investigation is a collaborative effort between Garden of Life, the Food and Drug Administration, and Center for Disease Control, and state agencies.
Sold by the packet and tub, Garden of Life products are popular with clean eating fans and have a long shelf life. The products include live probiotics and enzymes and are certified organic, gluten-free, soy-free, and vegan. Customers may already have affected products on hand.
According to the CDC, Salmonella is considered a public health threat affecting an estimated 1.2 million sickened in the United States each year. Symptoms include diarrhea, abdominal cramps and fever between 12 and 72 hours after infection (http://www.cdc.gov/salmonella/general/index.html). It usually runs its course within a week, but the elderly, infants, and those with impaired immune systems may be affected longer. Treatment typically includes a round of antibiotics and keeping hydrated. The strain linked to the outbreak, Salmonella Virchow, is atypical in the United States.
Recalled products include RAW Meal and RAW Meal Organic Shake in Chocolate, Vanilla, and Vanilla Chai flavors of all sizes. A full list of products with lot numbers and expiration dates is listed by flavor by the Centers for Disease Control. RAW Fit, RAW Protein, RAW Protein & Greens, and Perfect Food RAW are not currently on the recall list.
In the Charleston area, RAW Meal and other Garden of Life products are sold in Whole Foods Market, Earth Fare West Ashley and Summerville, Vitamin Shoppe, Vitamin World, Health Smart, God’s Green Acre, and Eucalyptus Wellness. Other independent nutrition shops may carry it as well.
Customers are advised to place the product in a plastic bag before throwing it away or returning it to the store. Garden of Life has an information line for customers who have questions about their purchases. Call 1-866-465-0051 with questions or concerns.
Do you have Garden of Life RAW Meal on hand? What will you use instead? My favorite is the Marley Coffee flavor, but no one else in my family likes it. Share your thoughts here, on Facebook, G+, or Twitter.