Illness Outbreak Triggers Investigation into Plant-Based Food Product

Key Takeaways:

  • An investigation has been launched by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration into a plant-based food product after reports of illnesses related to its consumption.
  • The food delivery service provider voluntarily recalled the product after receiving approximately 500 reports of illnesses, including cases that resulted in hospitalization.
  • The product, promoted by social media influencers, was distributed nationwide, with cases of illness reported in multiple states.
  • Consumers who experienced severe health conditions have initiated legal action against the company, blaming the product for their illnesses.
  • Consumers showing symptoms like jaundice, severe abdominal pain, and fever after consuming the product are advised to seek medical help and to report their negative experiences to the product manufacturer.

Great concern has been raised regarding a food delivery service provider who voluntarily withdrew one of their frozen food products from the market. Hundreds of consumers in over 26 states are believed to have fallen ill after its consumption.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has begun an investigation following numerous reports of illnesses related to the consumption of a lentil-based food product. A lawsuit has also been filed against the company by a woman from Oklahoma who blamed the product for her severe health conditions, which included gastrointestinal illness and liver and gallbladder dysfunction.

Details of the Plant-Based Food Crisis

Reports suggest that the company has received approximately 500 reports of illnesses following the consumption of their plant-based food product. As a result, a voluntary recall was initiated on June 23.

The FDA has issued warnings to consumers, retailers, and others urging them to not eat, sell or serve the product. Reports show that 133 illness events can possibly be attributed to the lentil-based product, including 42 incidents leading to hospitalization.

Widespread Impact

The product, which has been promoted on social media by numerous influencers, was shipped to consumers nationwide. Multiple states reported illnesses due to the product, including, but not limited to, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, North Carolina, and Texas.

Personal Accounts of Consumers

Several consumers shared their experiences, expressing significant distress and health complications. One such consumer, Candice Smith, spoke about believing she was having a heart attack after consuming the product. Smith spent four days in hospital undergoing tests on her enlarged liver and elevated liver enzymes, leading to the removal of her gallbladder.

Similarly, Carol Ready, the woman who has filed a lawsuit against the company, ended up in the emergency room twice after trying the product. She also witnessed elevated liver enzymes and her gallbladder had to be removed.

Continued Investigation and Further Actions

The ongoing investigation by the FDA is being conducted along with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. It’s estimated the company sent around 28,000 units of the product to consumers within just less than two months, and a few also received free samples.

Recognized for their “vegan-friendly” products, the company has adopted various methods of distribution, such as online sales, direct delivery, and retail outlets. Consumers who had contact with the company were contacted and issued a credit and those still in possession of the product have been advised to dispose of it.

All lot codes of the product are impacted with the product packaged in a 12-ounce white pouch, brand labeled, and a detailed description.

Further Advice for Consumers

Consumers experiencing symptoms such as yellowing of the skin and eyes (jaundice), dark urine, itching without a rash, gastrointestinal illness, nausea, fatigue, body aches, severe abdominal pain, or fever after eating the product, are being urged to seek medical help. Providers should report these illnesses to local health departments, the FDA advised.

Consumers who encountered negative aftereffects are urged to report their experiences to the product manufacturer.

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