Saturday, October 1, 2022

Patient count in outbreak linked to Daily Harvest frozen food continues to climb

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The number of people with “adverse reactions” to frozen crumbles from Daily Harvest has tripled since the FDA first reported illnesses related to the product in late June.

As of Aug. 25 the Food and Drug Administration had received 369 reports of illnesses from consumers. On June 28 the agency reported 133 consumer complaints. The number of illnesses has steadily increased with 277 cases having been reported on July 14.

The “adverse events,” as the FDA is referring to them, are related to Daily Harvest brand frozen French Lentil and Leek crumbles. Early reports from the company said the firm had received 470 complaints from customers.

Some of the patients have reported gastrointestinal issues while others have been hospitalized with decreased liver function. At least two dozen of the patients have had to have their gall bladders removed.

Daily Harvest recalled the product on July 17. 

The sick people live in Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Michigan, Missouri, Montana, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington and Wisconsin.

The FDA investigation is ongoing. It also involves the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention along with state and local public health officials.

The investigation has found that the product in question is the only Daily Harvest product that includes tara as an ingredient. Tara is a plant found in Peru and is used to make flour and thickeners used as food additives.

From April 28 to June 17, 2022, approximately 28,000 units of the recalled product were distributed to consumers in the continental United States through online sales and direct delivery, as well as through retail sales at the Daily Harvest store in Chicago, IL, and a “pop-up” store in Los Angeles, CA. Free samples were also provided to a small number of consumers.

Daily Harvest emailed consumers who were shipped the affected product, and other consumers for whom the company had contact information and consumers were issued a credit for the recalled product. Consumers who may still have the recalled product in their freezers should immediately dispose of it.

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