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Filed February 18th, 2016 F.A. Kelley

A multistate outbreak of Salmonella Virchow has been linked to Raw Meal brand powdered organic shake mixes distributed by Garden of Life LLC, and the company has issued a recall for the products.

Garden of Life LLC is expanding its January 29, 2016 recall to include additional lots of its Raw Meal Organic Shake & Meal Chocolate, Original, Vanilla and Vanilla Chai products because an ingredient used in certain lots of the product may be contaminated with Salmonella Virchow. A listing of the affected products and their lot numbers and expiration dates can be found in the recall notice on the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) web site.

Retailers have been requested to remove the affected lots of Raw Meal products from shelves. The lot codes are stamped on the underside of the plastic container. Consumers may return any of the recalled Raw Meal products to the point of purchase for a full refund.

Salmonellosis—the illness caused by salmonella bacteria—usually emerges within 12 to 72 hours of ingesting tainted food. Symptoms include fever, diarrhea (which may be bloody), nausea, vomiting and abdominal pain. The illness typically lasts four to seven day and most people recover without treatment, according to the Centers for Disease control and Prevention (CDC). In rare circumstances, the salmonella organism can get into the bloodstream and produce more severe illnesses such as arterial infections (infected aneurysms), endocarditis and arthritis. Some individuals may need hospitalization and treatment with antibiotics. Those at greatest risk for serious illness include children under five, the elderly, pregnant women, and those with compromised immune systems. Anyone who is experiencing symptoms that may indicate salmonella infection should speak with a health care provider.

After extensive testing of Raw Meal products and their ingredients, Garden of Life identified the likely source of salmonella contamination as organic moringa leaf powder used only in Raw Meal products. Other Garden of Life products contain moringa from different suppliers, so only Raw Meal products are exposed to salmonella. Garden of Life says new Raw Meal products will be available in stores and through online retailers within the next few weeks.

According to company president, Brian Ray, Garden of Life is reviewing “our entire sourcing, manufacturing and distribution system with an eye to making a safe system even better . . . On behalf of all of us, I apologize to everyone affected by this situation.”

Consumer questions about the recall should be directed Garden of Life at 866-211-9058, Monday-Friday from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. EST.


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