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Trader Joe’s Salmonella Outbreak Linked to Organic Basil


A recent outbreak of Salmonella Typhimurium has been linked to Infinite Herbs-brand organic basil, prompting an active investigation by federal and state health officials. Currently, 12 individuals have reported illnesses across 7 states, with 2 hospitalized. Fortunately, no deaths have been reported.

Number of Sick People

Image Credits: FDA

Product Distribution Map of Trader Joe’s Stores where Infinite Herbs-Brand Organic Basil 2.5 oz. was Sold.

Image Credits: FDA

The potentially contaminated product is packaged in 2.5 oz clamshell-style containers and was sold at Trader Joe’s stores in 29 states including Alabama, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Iowa, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Massachusetts, Maryland, Maine, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, North Carolina, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, Vermont, and Wisconsin, as well as Washington D.C. Trader Joe’s has since removed the product from their stores and is no longer available for purchase.

Product Image

Image Credits: FDA

According to the CDC, “Call your healthcare provider if you have any of these severe Salmonella symptoms:” 2

  1. Diarrhea and a fever higher than 102°F
  2. Diarrhea for more than 3 days that is not improving.
  3. Bloody diarrhea
  4. So much vomiting that you cannot keep liquids down.
  5. Signs of dehydration, such as:
  6. Not peeing much
  7. Dry mouth and throat
  8. Feeling dizzy when standing up

Infinite Herbs, the supplier based in Miami, FL, is cooperating with the FDA and has agreed to initiate a voluntary recall of the affected basil. Consumers are advised not to consume the product. Consumers who have purchased Infinite Herbs organic basil should either dispose of the product immediately or return it to the store. Surfaces and items that might have met the basil should be thoroughly cleaned using hot soapy water or a dishwasher.

“Most people infected with Salmonella develop diarrhea, fever, and stomach cramps. Symptoms typically begin 6 hours to 6 days after ingesting the bacteria and most individuals recover without treatment within 4 to 7 days. However, certain groups—particularly children under 5 years old, adults over 65, and those with weakened immune systems—may experience more severe illnesses necessitating medical treatment or hospitalization.”3

Businesses should cease selling or serving the affected basil. Additionally, they should ensure that any surfaces or items that could have contacted the contaminated basil are washed and sanitized properly.

The CDC, FDA, and local health agencies are working to determine the source of the contamination and to find out if more products are connected to the outbreak. Further updates will be provided as more information becomes available.

References

  1. FDA. Outbreak Investigation of Salmonella: Organic Basil (April 2024). Published April 17, 2024. Accessed April 19, 2024. https://www.fda.gov/food/outbreaks-foodborne-illness/outbreak-investigation-salmonella-organic-basil-april-2024
  2. CDC. Salmonella Outbreak Linked to Fresh Basil. Published April 17, 2024. Accessed April 19, 2024. https://www.cdc.gov/salmonella/basil-04-24/index.html
  3. Abene, S. The Impact of Whole-Genome Sequencing in Detecting Foodborne Illnesses. Contagion. Published February 6, 2024. Accessed April 19, 2024. https://www.contagionlive.com/view/the-impact-of-whole-genome-sequencing-in-detecting-foodborne-illnesses



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