Herb Recall Warning; “Explosive Diarrhea”

Organic basil imported from Columbia and sold in 10 states recalled after positive parasite test

Food Safety News – Shenandoah Growers Inc. is recalling its fresh cut, packaged organic basil packed at its Indianapolis location because sample tests showed the Cyclospora parasite. Retailers, including Kroger and Schnuck’s received the implicated herb.

The recalled products from the Harrisonburg, VA-based company were distributed to retail stores Feb. 3 and 4 in the following states:

Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Ohio, Tennessee, and Wisconsin.

“Cyclospora is spread by people …”

The affected product has a country of origin of Colombia and was harvested entirely from Puerto Vallarta Herbs SAS and imported by Vallarta Organics LLC dba Organic Destiny, according to the company’s recall notice posted by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

“Cyclospora is spread by people ingesting something—such as food or water—that was contaminated with feces (stool). Cyclospora needs time (typically, at least 1–2 weeks) after being passed in a bowel movement to become infectious for another person. Therefore, it is unlikely that Cyclospora is passed directly from one person to another.” – CDC 

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“This recall notification is being issued after a sample of bulk product was pulled at the port of entry in Miami and tested by the FDA as part of routine surveillance and indicated the potential presence of Cyclospora,” according to the recall notice.

“Customers who have purchased the recalled product should immediately remove and discard the products. Retailers should remove the product from all store shelves, distribution and other inventories to ensure they are no longer available for sale or consumption.”

“Cyclospora infection (cyclosporiasis) causes watery, and sometimes explosive, diarrhea. The one-celled parasite that causes cyclospora infection can enter your body when you ingest contaminated food or water. Fresh produce is the culprit in many cases of cyclospora infection.” – Mayo Clinic

As of the posting of this article, there have been no illnesses reported in relation to this product.

There is concern that consumers may have unused portions of the basil in their homes. To determine whether they have the recalled herb, consumers can check packages for the following label information.

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The following specific lot codes are affected: PV40515 1034 PV40515 3034 PV40515 4034 PV40515 3035. Additional label information is available here

“If you develop persistent diarrhea that lasts several days or recurs, contact your doctor so that he or she can identify the cause and recommend treatment. If you’ve eaten a food that’s been recalled because of a cyclospora outbreak or traveled in an area where parasites such as cyclospora are common, be sure to tell your doctor.” – Mayo Clinic

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