Trader Joe's Sold Contaminated Product, CDC Warns

— Multistate Salmonella outbreak linked to fresh basil

Last Updated April 19, 2024
A photo of Infinite Herbs basil

The CDC and FDA are warning about a infections linked to fresh basil sold at Trader Joe's stores in over two dozen states.

Twelve cases have been reported across seven states as of April 17, including one hospitalization. Exposure to fresh organic basil from Trader Joe's prior to illness was confirmed in seven of eight individuals with additional case information.

Miami-based Infinite Herbs, which makes the basil, has agreed to a voluntary recall, and the herbs have been pulled from store shelves.

"If you already bought organic basil from Trader Joe's and removed it from the packaging or froze it and cannot tell if it was Infinite Herbs-brand, do not eat or use it and throw it away," the FDA said in its .

The product was sold in a 2.5-oz clamshell-style container at Trader Joe's stores in , with most east of the Mississippi River. Cases have been reported in Florida, Georgia, Minnesota, Missouri, New Jersey, Rhode Island, and Wisconsin.

"The true number of sick people in this outbreak is likely much higher than the number reported, and the outbreak may not be limited to the states with known illnesses," .

On Friday, the FDA said Infinite Herbs was to include Melissa's brand organic basil, received by a retailer in Illinois and Missouri, due to a potential risk of Salmonella contamination as well.

An investigation is ongoing to determine whether additional products are linked to the illnesses, the FDA noted.

Twelve cases have been reported across seven states.

Salmonellosis, the illness caused by Salmonella, of consuming a contaminated food. Symptoms may include diarrhea, fever, and abdominal cramps that last 4 to 7 days.

In most, the illness resolves on its own, but "some people -- especially children younger than 5 years, adults 65 years and older, and people with weakened immune systems -- may experience more severe illnesses that require medical treatment or hospitalization," the CDC stated.

Ill individuals in the current outbreak ranged in age from 2 to 59 years, and 83% were female. Whole-genome sequencing of patient samples showed the bacteria to be closely related genetically, suggesting the common food source, and "did not predict resistance to any antibiotics."

Each year in the U.S., about from acute cases of salmonellosis.

The CDC recommends that people with severe Salmonella symptoms contact a healthcare provider. These can include diarrhea with a fever above 102°F; diarrhea that does not improve after more than 3 days; bloody diarrhea; vomiting so much liquids cannot be kept down; or signs of dehydration, such as not peeing much, a dry mouth/throat, and feeling dizzy when standing.

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    Ian Ingram is Managing Editor at app and helps cover oncology for the site.