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Trader Joe’s Basil Salmonella Outbreak

Just yesterday, the CDC, public health and regulatory officials in several states, and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced their investigation into a multistate outbreak of Salmonella Typhimurium infections linked to fresh basil products sold at Trader Joe’s stores. Here is everything we know about this Trader Joe’s Basil Salmonella Outbreak:

About the Trader Joe’s Basil Salmonella Outbreak

Fast Facts:

Total Illnesses: 12
Hospitalizations: 1
Deaths: 0
Last Illness Onset: April 2, 2024
States with Cases: FL, GA, MN, MO, NJ, RI, WI

Product Distribution: Trader Joe’s stores in AL, CT, D.C., DE, FL, GA, IA, IL, IN, KS, KY, MA, MD, ME, MI, MN, MO, NC, NE, NH, NJ, NY, OH, PA, RI, SC, TN, VA, VT, WI

What do we know?

The FDA and CDC, in collaboration with state and local partners, are investigating illnesses in a multistate outbreak of Salmonella Typhimurium infections linked to Infinite Herbs-brand organic basil packed in 2.5-oz clamshell packaging and sold at Trader Joe’s stores in AL, CT, D.C., DE, FL, GA, IA, IL, IN, KS, KY, MA, MD, ME, MI, MN, MO, NC, NE, NH, NJ, NY, OH, PA, RI, SC, TN, VA, VT, and WI.

Based on epidemiological information collected by CDC, a total of 12 people infected with the outbreak strain of Salmonella have been reported from seven states. Seven of eight cases with information available reported exposure to fresh organic basil purchased from Trader Joe’s before becoming ill. Additionally, traceback data collected by FDA determined that Infinite Herbs, LLC, in Miami, FL, was the supplier of the 2.5-oz packages of organic basil sold at Trader Joe’s stores.

Of 12 people interviewed, 10 (83%) reported shopping at Trader Joe’s. Seven sick people reported buying or likely buying organic basil in 2.5 oz clamshell-style containers from Trader Joe’s. Additionally, traceback data collected by FDA determined that Infinite Herbs, LLC, in Miami, Florida, was the supplier of the 2.5-oz packages of organic basil sold at Trader Joe’s stores.

In response to this investigation, Trader Joe’s has voluntarily removed all Infinite Herbs-brand organic basil packed in 2.5-oz clamshell packaging from their stores and this product should no longer be available for sale.

Who is Sick?

Demographics Information
Table of demographic information (n is the number of people with information available)
Age
(n=12)
Range from 2 to 59 years
Median age of 33 years
Sex
(n=12)
83% female
17% male
Race
(n=12)
92% White
8% African American/Black
Ethnicity
(n=11)
91% non-Hispanic
9% Hispanic

The investigation is ongoing to determine the source of contamination and whether additional products are linked to illnesses. FDA will update this advisory should additional consumer safety information become available.

Trader Joe’s Stores Affected

Trader Joe’s stores in D.C. and the following states: AL, CT, DE, FL, GA, IA, IL, IN, KS, KY, MA, MD, ME, MI, MN, MO, NC, NE, NH, NJ, NY, OH, PA, RI, SC, TN, VA, VT, and WI.

Basil from Infinite Herbs the Source

Epidemiologic and traceback data show that Infinite Herbs brand organic basil may be contaminated with Salmonella and be making people sick.

Infinite Herbs-brand organic basil packed in 2.5-oz clamshell packaging and sold at Trader Joe’s stores in AL, CT, D.C., DE, FL, GA, IA, IL, IN, KS, KY, MA, MD, ME, MI, MN, MO, NC, NE, NH, NJ, NY, OH, PA, RI, SC, TN, VA, VT, and WI.

Trader Joe’s has already voluntarily removed all Infinite Herbs-brand organic basil packed in 2.5-oz clamshell packaging from their store shelves and this product should no longer be available for sale to customers at their stores.

FDA Recommends

  • Consumers who purchased organic basil from Trader Joe’s stores in the states listed above should check their refrigerators and freezers and should not eat 2.5-oz packages of Infinite Herbs-brand organic basil.
  • This product should no longer be for sale at Trader Joe’s and is likely past shelf-life. 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.
  • Follow FDA’s safe handling and cleaning advice and use extra care in cleaning and sanitizing any surfaces and containers that may have come in contact with this product to reduce the risk of cross-contamination
  • Contact your healthcare provider if you think you may have symptoms of a Salmonella infection after eating the 2.5-oz packages of Infinite Herbs-brand organic basil from Trader Joe’s stores.

About Salmonella

Symptoms of Salmonella infection include diarrhea, abdominal pain, and fever. Symptoms usually begin within 12 to 96 hours after exposure, but they can begin up to two weeks after exposure. Infections usually clear in five to seven days, but about 28% of laboratory-confirmed cases require hospitalization. Many Salmonella infections in otherwise healthy people do not require medical treatment. More serious infections occasionally occur. For those who seek health care, most do not require antibiotics. However, antibiotic treatment may be warranted in some cases.

Salmonella Symptoms and Treatment

The CDC estimates Salmonella is responsible for 1.35 million infections leading to 26,500 hospitalizations, and around 420 deaths in the United States each year. Most of these illnesses are the result of foodborne exposure.

Symptoms

Symptoms usually entail diarrhea, fever, and stomach cramps. They generally begin anywhere from 6 hours to 6 days after infection and can last anywhere from 4 to 7 days on average.

Antibiotic treatment can be used for those with severe illness. In some cases, infection may be so severe that hospitalization is required for recovery.

Higher Risk Populations

Certain groups of people are at higher risk for severe infection. According to the CDC, infants, children under 5 years old, adults over 65, and those with a weakened immune system are more likely to become infected and have more severe symptoms. Infants (children under 12 months) who are not breast fed are also near the top of that list, as are those taking certain medications such as stomach acid reducers.

What Do I Do If I Have Symptoms

If you have consumed this potentially tainted product and have symptoms, you have options.

Reach Out to Your Health Care Provider

“People should contact a health care provider if they believe they’ve had symptoms of salmonellosis, including diarrhea, after eating raw cookie dough,” said Paul Cieslak, M.D., medical director for communicable diseases and immunizations at the OHA Public Health Division. “It’s important to remember, though, that most people with salmonellosis will recover without needing medical care or antibiotics.”

Be sure to mention that you consumed a food potentially involved in a Salmonella outbreak. Specific tests are required to achieve an accurate diagnosis.

We Can Help

Are you concerned for yourself or someone you love that may have fallen ill with Salmonella in this Trader Joe’s Basil Salmonella Outbreak? Navigating this process can be confusing. Reach out to an experienced professional that can help answer your questions.

Contact The Lange Law Firm, PLLC to schedule your free, no obligation legal consultation with a Salmonella lawyer who has a reputation for success in handling cases just like yours. Call (833)330-3663 or fill out the online contact form to get the answers you deserve.

Candess Zona-Mendola

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