Food

FDA Investigated Outbreak of Salmonella Newport, Salmonella Hartford, and Salmonella Oranienburg Linked to Organic Sprouted Chia Seed Powder

Posted August 14, 2014

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The U.S. Food and Drug Administration along with the CDC, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA), and state and local officials investigated illnesses linked to Organic Sprouted Chia Seed Powder.

What was the Problem and What was Done About It?
The FDA, Canadian health officials, the CDC, and state and local officials investigated an outbreak of Salmonella Newport, Salmonella Hartford and Salmonella Oranienburg illnesses linked to products containing organic sprouted chia seed powder.  According to the CDC, the outbreak appears to be over as of August 13, 2014.

While the outbreak appears to be over, these products have a long shelf-life and may still be in people’s homes.  Consumers unaware of the recall could continue to eat the products and potentially get sick.

According to the CDC, a total of 31 ill persons infected with the outbreak strains of Salmonella Newport (20 persons), Salmonella Hartford (7 persons), or Salmonella Oranienburg (4 persons) had been reported from 16 states. The number of ill persons identified in each state was as follows: Arizona (1), California (4), Colorado (1), Connecticut (3), Florida (1), Illinois (2), Maryland (1), Massachusetts (1), Michigan (1), New York (7), Ohio (1), Rhode Island (1), Texas (2), Utah (1), Washington (1), and Wisconsin (3). Nineteen (90%) of 21 persons interviewed reported eating chia seeds or powder, and 15 (79%) of 19 persons who identified the type of chia product consumed reported eating chia powder specifically.

The Public Health Agency of Canada disclaimer icon (PHAC) and the Canadian Food Inspection Agency disclaimer icon (CFIA) investigated similar cases of Salmonella infection in several Canadian provinces.

Laboratory testing conducted by public health laboratories in Connecticut, Massachusetts, and New York isolated one or more of the outbreak strains from 5 samples of leftover Navitas Naturals products containing organic sprouted chia powder collected from ill persons’ homes and 2 samples of unopened Navitas Naturals products containing organic sprouted chia powder collected from retail locations. Additionally, FDA laboratory sampling identified one sample of Organic Traditions Sprouted Chia Seed Powder containing Salmonella Gaminara.

On May 28, the FDA, the CDC, and the California Department of Public Health disclaimer icon warned people not to eat products that contain Organic Sprouted Chia Seed Powder subject to the voluntary recall by Navitas Naturals, of Novato California.  

On May 28 Navitas Naturals recalled specific lots of Navitas Naturals Organic Sprouted Chia Powder, Navitas Naturals Omega Blend Sprouted Smoothie Mix, and Williams-Sonoma Omega 3 Smoothie Mixer, and expanded that recall on June 6

On June 4, Health Matters America, Inc., of Cheektowaga, New York, recalled specific lots of Organic Traditions Sprouted Chia Seed Powder and Sprouted Chia/Flax Seed Powder, and expanded that recall on June 26.  

On June 5, GreenSmoothieGirl recalled specific lots of its Sprouted Ground TriOmega Superfood which were sold in the silver and in the gold ziplock pouches.

On July 1, Oriya Organics, LLC recalled Oriya Organics Superfood Protein Medley which contain Organic Sprouted Chia Seed Powder due to possible health risks related to Salmonella contamination.

The CFIA announced on May 30 disclaimer icon that the Canadian company Advantage Health Matters was recalling products containing sprouted chia seed powder marketed under the brands Organic Traditions and Back 2 the Garden.  Subsequently, on June 3 disclaimer icon, June 4 disclaimer icon, June 6 disclaimer iconJune 7 disclaimer iconJune 11 disclaimer iconJune 12 disclaimer icon, June 13 disclaimer icon, and June 25 disclaimer icon, the CFIA announced an expansion of the Advantage Health Matters recall and recalls by BioEssential Botanicals, Back 2 the Garden, Harmonic Arts Botanical Dispensary, Intuitive Path Superfoods, and Noorish Inc.

Traceback of the products reported by ill persons identified Bisessential Botanicals, a Canadian firm, as a common supplier of organic sprouted chia powder used in these products. On June 11, 2014, the FDA placed the Canadian firm, Bioessential Botanicals, on Import Alert. The Import Alert informs FDA field personnel that FDA has sufficient evidence or other information to detain future shipments of chia seeds and sprouted seed powder from this supplier. This means that chia seeds and sprouted chia powder from this firm would be denied admission into the United States unless the importer provided evidence that these products are not contaminated with Salmonella, such as through results from private laboratory tests of the products. 

What are the Symptoms of Salmonella infection?
Most people infected with Salmonella develop diarrhea, fever, and abdominal cramps. The illness usually lasts 4 to 7 days, and most people recover without treatment.

How soon do Symptoms Appear After Exposure?
Most people infected with Salmonella develop diarrhea, fever, and abdominal cramps 12 to 72 hours after infection.

What are the Complications of Salmonella Infections?
In some people, the diarrhea may be so severe that the patient needs to be hospitalized. In these patients, the Salmonella infection may spread from the intestines to the blood stream, and then to other body sites and can cause death unless the person is treated promptly with antibiotics. 

Who is at Risk?
More than one million people per year in the United States develop illnesses associated with Salmonella.  Anyone can get salmonellosis, but children are the most likely to be infected. The rate of diagnosed infections in children less than five years old is higher than the rate in all other persons. Young children, the elderly, and those with compromised immune systems are the most likely to have severe infections. It is estimated that approximately 400 persons die each year with acute salmonellosis.

What Specific Products were Recalled?

Navitas Naturals recalled the products listed below.

ProductSizeUniversal Product Code (UPC)Best By Date(s)
Navitas Naturals Organic Sprouted Chia Powder8 oz.UPC 858847000369All dates through 11/22/2015
Navitas Naturals Omega Blend Sprouted Smoothie Mix8 oz.UPC 858847000314All dates through 11/5/2015
Williams-Sonoma Omega 3 Smoothie Mixer8 oz.SKU 506436All dates through October 2015

Health Matters America, Inc. recalled the products listed below, which were sold to distributors, retailers, and through internet sales in the following states: Alabama, Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Illinois, Indiana, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Michigan, North Carolina, North Dakota, New Jersey, Nevada, New York, Ohio,
Oregon, Pennsylvania, Texas, Tennessee, Virginia and Wisconsin.

The products and lot numbers included in the Health Matters America Inc. recall are:

ORGANIC TRADITIONS SPROUTED CHIA SEED POWDER Lot numbers: All codes starting with BIO13 and ending with 269 up to and including 365; All codes starting with BIO14 and ending with 001 up to and including 156; NET WT. 8 oz. UPC 854260006162, and NET WT. 16 oz. UPC 854260005462; and all bulk sizes;

ORGANIC TRADITIONS SPROUTED CHIA & FLAX SEED POWDER Lot numbers: All codes starting with BIO13 and ending with 269 up to and including 365; All codes starting with BIO14 and ending with 001 up to and including 156; NET WT. 8 oz. UPC 854260006216, and NET WT. 16 oz. UPC 854260005479; and all bulk sizes.

ORGANIC TRADITIONS CHIA SEEDS Lot numbers: All codes starting with ASCBO13; NET WT. 8oz. UPC 854260006131, and NET WT. 16oz. UPC 854260006148; and all bulk sizes.

ORGANIC TRADITIONS ULTIMATE SUPERFOOD TRAILMIX Lot numbers: ALL LOTS ending in 003-13 to 005-14; NET WT. 3.5oz. UPC 854260010701.

GreenSmoothieGirl recalled the following products:

  • GreenSmoothieGirl Sprouted Ground TriOmega Superfood, 16 oz, UPC 853811005036 with lot number AC030141, Exp. 1/2016 (Silver Ziplock Pouch)
  • GreenSmoothieGirl Sprouted Ground TriOmega Superfood, 16 oz, no UPC, with lot number BIO13TOP300, Exp. 10/2015 (Gold Ziplock Pouch)

Oriya Organics, LLC is recalled Oriya Organics Superfood Protein Medley which contain Organic Sprouted Chia Seed Powder due to possible health risks related to Salmonella contamination. Products were sold in retailers in Texas and Louisiana. Products were sold directly to customers through the internet in Texas, Arkansas, Illinois, Florida, New York, Louisiana, and Virginia. The products in this voluntary recall are Oriya Organics Superfood Protein Medley, 21.2 oz, UPC Code:85370100401, with Lot #: A14314 and an expiration date of 05/23/2015. Lot codes and expiration dates are located on the bottom of the container. Consumers that have purchased any of these products with the above stated lot number and expiration dates are asked not to consume the product and discard it or return the product to the original point of purchase.

To review the products involved in the recalls announced by the CFIA, see the CFIA news releases issued on May 30 disclaimer icon, June 3 disclaimer icon, June 4 disclaimer icon, June 6 disclaimer iconJune 7 disclaimer iconJune 11 disclaimer iconJune 12 disclaimer icon, June 13 disclaimer icon, and June 25 disclaimer icon.  With these news releases, the CFIA announced an expansion of the Advantage Health Matters recall and recalls by BioEssential Botanicals, Back 2 the Garden, Harmonic Arts Botanical Dispensary, Intuitive Path Superfoods, and Noorish Inc. 

What Do Consumers Need To Do? 
Consumers should not consume the products listed above.  They should return it to the place of purchase or dispose of it immediately.  Consumers should always practice safe food handling and preparation measures.  Wash hands, utensils, and surfaces with hot, soapy water before and after handling food.

Who Should be Contacted? 
Contact your healthcare provider if you have any of the symptoms described above.
The FDA encourages consumers with questions about food safety to call 1-888-SAFEFOOD Monday through Friday between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. Eastern time, or to consult the fda.gov website: www.fda.gov.

Consumers with questions or who would like refunds may contact Navitas Naturals at 1-888-886-3879.

Consumers with questions about the Health Matters America recall please call 1-888-343-3278, ext. 730, Monday – Friday, 9am –5pm ET.

Consumers with questions about the GreenSmoothieGirl recall please call 435-625-1596.

Consumers with questions about the Oriya Organics recall please call 512-992-5100, Monday – Friday from 9am – 5pm CST. Email correspondence can be sent to info@oriyaorganics.com.


The information in this release reflects the FDA’s best efforts to communicate what it has learned from the manufacturer and the state and local public health agencies involved in the investigation. The agency will update this page as more information becomes available.

For more information: 

 

Page Last Updated: 09/11/2014
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