Food

FDA Investigated Multistate Outbreak of Salmonella Virchow Linked to RAW Meal Organic Shake and Meal Replacement Products

April 22, 2016

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The U.S. Food and Drug Administration, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and state and local officials investigated a multistate outbreak of Salmonella Virchow.

Update April 22, 2016
According to the CDC, the investigation is closed as of April 21, 2016. However, the recalled product has a long shelf life and may still be in people’s homes. Consumers unaware of the recalls might continue to eat the products and could get sick. Consumers should not consume any of the recalled products manufactured by Garden of Life LLC.

What was the Problem and What was Done About It?

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and state and local officials investigated a multistate outbreak of Salmonella Virchow. The epidemiological and laboratory evidence available at the time suggested that RAW Meal Organic Shake & Meal Replacement products manufactured by Garden of Life LLC of Palm Beach Gardens, Florida, are the likely source of this outbreak.

According to the CDC, as of April 21, 2016, 33 people infected with the outbreak strain of Salmonella Virchow have been reported from 23 states including 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), Oklahoma (1), Oregon (1), Pennsylvania (1), Rhode Island (1), Tennessee (1), Texas (2), Utah (3), Wisconsin (1), and West Virginia (1). Six people were hospitalized. No deaths were reported. Twenty-eight of the 30 ill people interviewed reported consuming powdered supplements or meal replacement powders in the week before illness onset. Twenty-seven ill people specifically reported consuming Garden of Life RAW Meal products.

On January 29, 2016, Garden of Life LLC voluntarily recalled disclaimer icon RAW Meal Organic Shake & Meal Replacement chocolate, original, vanilla, and vanilla chai products because they have the potential to be contaminated with Salmonella Virchow.

On February 1, 2016, the Utah Public Health Laboratory confirmed that Salmonella was isolated from an open container of Garden of Life RAW Meal organic shake product collected from a case patient. Testing by Utah and Oklahoma Public Health Laboratory confirmed that Salmonella isolates collected by the states matched the outbreak strain.

On February 12, 2016, Garden of Life expanded its recall disclaimer icon to include additional lots of RAW Meal Organic Shake and Meal Replacement Chocolate, Original, Vanilla, and Vanilla Chai products because an ingredient used in these lots have the potential to be contaminated with Salmonella. The FDA worked with the firm to facilitate this recall.

FDA sampling confirmed the presence of the outbreak strain of Salmonella Virchow in Organic Moringa Leaf powder used in recalled RAW Meal Organic Shake & Meal Replacement products.

According to the CDC, the investigation is closed as of April 21, 2016. However, the recalled product has a long shelf life and may still be in people’s homes. Consumers unaware of the recalls might continue to eat the products and could get sick. Read the Recall Notice. Consumers should not consume any of the recalled products manufactured by Garden of Life LLC.

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What are the Signs & Symptoms of Salmonella?

Most people infected with Salmonella develop diarrhea, fever, and abdominal cramps. The illness usually lasts four to seven days, and most people recover without treatment.

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How Soon do Symptoms Appear After Exposure?

Most people infected with Salmonella develop diarrhea, fever, and abdominal cramps 12 to 72 hours after infection. 

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What are the Complications of Salmonella Infections?

In some people, the diarrhea may be so severe that they need 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.

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Who is at Risk?

Some people are at greater risk for foodborne illness. These susceptible groups include:

  • Pregnant women
  • Young children
  • Older adults
  • People whose immune systems are compromised
  • People who have decreased stomach acidity

Children are the most likely to get salmonellosis. The rate of diagnosed infections in children less than 5 years of age is higher than the rate in all other people. Children younger than 5 years of age, the elderly, and those people with weakened immune systems are more likely to have severe infections. It is estimated that approximately 400 people in the United States die each year with acute salmonellosis.

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What Specific Products were Recalled?

The following Garden of Life raw organic meal products were recalled on January 29, 2016, and February 12, 2016.

Item DescriptionLot NumberExp Date
RAW Organic Meal Vanilla Chai 10 CNT Tray471832008/1/2017
RAW Organic Meal Chocolate Half Size471984008/1/2017
RAW Organic Meal Vanilla Half Size471985008/1/2017
RAW Organic Meal Vanilla Full Size471986008/1/2017
RAW Organic Meal Half Size471987008/1/2017
RAW Organic Meal Vanilla Full Size472001008/1/2017
RAW Organic Meal Chocolate 10 CNT Tray472002008/1/2017
RAW Organic Meal Vanilla Chai Half Size472020008/1/2017
RAW Organic Meal Vanilla Chai Half Size472154008/1/2017
RAW Organic Meal Chocolate Full Size472158008/1/2017
RAW Organic Meal Full Size472223008/1/2017
RAW Organic Meal Half Size472257008/1/2017
RAW Organic Meal Chocolate Full Size472436008/1/2017
RAW Organic Meal Full Size472489008/1/2017
RAW Organic Meal Chocolate Full Size472000008/31/2017
RAW Organic Meal Vanilla Full Size472021008/31/2017
RAW Organic Meal Vanilla Chai Full Size472156008/31/2017
RAW Organic Meal Chocolate Half Size472430008/31/2017
RAW Organic Meal Chocolate Full Size471988009/1/2017
RAW Organic Meal Full Size472146009/1/2017
RAW Organic Meal 10 CNT Tray472148009/1/2017
RAW Organic Meal Vanilla Chai Full Size472155009/1/2017
RAW Organic Meal Vanilla Chai Full Size472155019/1/2017
RAW Organic Meal Vanilla Full Size472161009/1/2017
RAW Organic Meal Vanilla Full Size472255009/1/2017
RAW Organic Meal Chocolate Full Size472259009/1/2017
RAW Organic Meal Chocolate Full Size472492009/1/2017
RAW Organic Meal Vanilla Chai 10 CNT Tray471832019/30/2017
RAW Organic Meal Vanilla Full Size471986019/30/2017
RAW Organic Meal Vanilla Chai Half Size472060009/30/2017
RAW Organic Meal Vanilla Full Size472256009/30/2017
RAW Organic Meal Half Size472258009/30/2017
RAW Organic Meal Chocolate Half Size472262009/30/2017
RAW Organic Meal Vanilla Half Size472264009/30/2017
RAW Organic Meal Full Size472360009/30/2017
RAW Organic Meal Vanilla 10 CNT Tray472480009/30/2017
RAW Organic Meal Full Size472489019/30/2017
RAW Organic Meal Vanilla Full Size472539009/30/2017
RAW Organic Meal Vanilla Half Size472574019/30/2017
RAW Organic Meal Chocolate Full Size4722600010/1/2017
RAW Organic Meal Vanilla Full Size4721620010/31/2017
RAW Organic Meal Vanilla Full Size4722560110/31/2017
RAW Organic Meal Chocolate Full Size4722610010/31/2017
RAW Organic Meal Chocolate Half Size4722620110/31/2017
RAW Organic Meal Vanilla Chai Full Size4722630010/31/2017
RAW Organic Meal Full Size4724650010/31/2017
RAW Organic Meal Vanilla Chai Full Size4724760010/31/2017
RAW Organic Meal Chocolate Half Size4724780010/31/2017
RAW Organic Meal Vanilla Full Size4722560211/30/2017
RAW Organic Meal Full Size4724650111/30/2017
RAW Organic Meal Vanilla Chai Full Size4724760111/30/2017
RAW Organic Meal Chocolate Full Size4724770011/30/2017
RAW Organic Meal Chocolate Half Size4724780111/30/2017
RAW Organic Meal Vanilla Half Size4724790011/30/2017
RAW Organic Meal Chocolate Half Size4725700111/30/2017
RAW Organic Meal Half Size4726990011/30/2017
RAW Organic Meal Vanilla Half Size4727320011/30/2017
RAW Organic Meal Vanilla 10 CNT Tray4727540011/30/2017
RAW Organic Meal Chocolate Full Size4725690212/31/2017
RAW Organic Meal Vanilla Full Size4725710012/31/2017
RAW Organic Meal Vanilla Half Size4728760012/31/2017

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What Do Retailers Need To Do?

Retailers should not sell or serve any of the recalled products.

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What Do Consumers Need To Do?

Consumers should not consume any of the recalled products manufactured by Garden of Life LLC. If they have any such products, they should dispose of them in the garbage. The recalled products were sold nationwide in retail stores and online.

If you are unsure of your risk, ask your healthcare provider.

Consumers should always practice safe food handling and preparation measures. Wash hands, utensils, and surfaces with hot, soapy water before and after handling food. If more specific information becomes available FDA and CDC will share it with the public as appropriate, along with any steps consumers can take to prevent illnesses.

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Who Should be Contacted?

People who think they might have become ill from eating RAW Meal Organic Shake & Meal Replacement products should talk to their health care providers.

People with questions may call the Garden of Life Retail Support Team at 1-866-211-9058 between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. EST, Monday through Friday.  

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 website.

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Additional Information

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Page Last Updated: 04/22/2016
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