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  5. FDA Investigated Multistate Outbreak of Salmonella Virchow Linked to RAW Meal Organic Shake and Meal Replacement Products
  1. Outbreaks of Foodborne Illness

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 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 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 Description Lot Number Exp Date
RAW Organic Meal Vanilla Chai 10 CNT Tray 47183200 8/1/2017
RAW Organic Meal Chocolate Half Size 47198400 8/1/2017
RAW Organic Meal Vanilla Half Size 47198500 8/1/2017
RAW Organic Meal Vanilla Full Size 47198600 8/1/2017
RAW Organic Meal Half Size 47198700 8/1/2017
RAW Organic Meal Vanilla Full Size 47200100 8/1/2017
RAW Organic Meal Chocolate 10 CNT Tray 47200200 8/1/2017
RAW Organic Meal Vanilla Chai Half Size 47202000 8/1/2017
RAW Organic Meal Vanilla Chai Half Size 47215400 8/1/2017
RAW Organic Meal Chocolate Full Size 47215800 8/1/2017
RAW Organic Meal Full Size 47222300 8/1/2017
RAW Organic Meal Half Size 47225700 8/1/2017
RAW Organic Meal Chocolate Full Size 47243600 8/1/2017
RAW Organic Meal Full Size 47248900 8/1/2017
RAW Organic Meal Chocolate Full Size 47200000 8/31/2017
RAW Organic Meal Vanilla Full Size 47202100 8/31/2017
RAW Organic Meal Vanilla Chai Full Size 47215600 8/31/2017
RAW Organic Meal Chocolate Half Size 47243000 8/31/2017
RAW Organic Meal Chocolate Full Size 47198800 9/1/2017
RAW Organic Meal Full Size 47214600 9/1/2017
RAW Organic Meal 10 CNT Tray 47214800 9/1/2017
RAW Organic Meal Vanilla Chai Full Size 47215500 9/1/2017
RAW Organic Meal Vanilla Chai Full Size 47215501 9/1/2017
RAW Organic Meal Vanilla Full Size 47216100 9/1/2017
RAW Organic Meal Vanilla Full Size 47225500 9/1/2017
RAW Organic Meal Chocolate Full Size 47225900 9/1/2017
RAW Organic Meal Chocolate Full Size 47249200 9/1/2017
RAW Organic Meal Vanilla Chai 10 CNT Tray 47183201 9/30/2017
RAW Organic Meal Vanilla Full Size 47198601 9/30/2017
RAW Organic Meal Vanilla Chai Half Size 47206000 9/30/2017
RAW Organic Meal Vanilla Full Size 47225600 9/30/2017
RAW Organic Meal Half Size 47225800 9/30/2017
RAW Organic Meal Chocolate Half Size 47226200 9/30/2017
RAW Organic Meal Vanilla Half Size 47226400 9/30/2017
RAW Organic Meal Full Size 47236000 9/30/2017
RAW Organic Meal Vanilla 10 CNT Tray 47248000 9/30/2017
RAW Organic Meal Full Size 47248901 9/30/2017
RAW Organic Meal Vanilla Full Size 47253900 9/30/2017
RAW Organic Meal Vanilla Half Size 47257401 9/30/2017
RAW Organic Meal Chocolate Full Size 47226000 10/1/2017
RAW Organic Meal Vanilla Full Size 47216200 10/31/2017
RAW Organic Meal Vanilla Full Size 47225601 10/31/2017
RAW Organic Meal Chocolate Full Size 47226100 10/31/2017
RAW Organic Meal Chocolate Half Size 47226201 10/31/2017
RAW Organic Meal Vanilla Chai Full Size 47226300 10/31/2017
RAW Organic Meal Full Size 47246500 10/31/2017
RAW Organic Meal Vanilla Chai Full Size 47247600 10/31/2017
RAW Organic Meal Chocolate Half Size 47247800 10/31/2017
RAW Organic Meal Vanilla Full Size 47225602 11/30/2017
RAW Organic Meal Full Size 47246501 11/30/2017
RAW Organic Meal Vanilla Chai Full Size 47247601 11/30/2017
RAW Organic Meal Chocolate Full Size 47247700 11/30/2017
RAW Organic Meal Chocolate Half Size 47247801 11/30/2017
RAW Organic Meal Vanilla Half Size 47247900 11/30/2017
RAW Organic Meal Chocolate Half Size 47257001 11/30/2017
RAW Organic Meal Half Size 47269900 11/30/2017
RAW Organic Meal Vanilla Half Size 47273200 11/30/2017
RAW Organic Meal Vanilla 10 CNT Tray 47275400 11/30/2017
RAW Organic Meal Chocolate Full Size 47256902 12/31/2017
RAW Organic Meal Vanilla Full Size 47257100 12/31/2017
RAW Organic Meal Vanilla Half Size 47287600 12/31/2017

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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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