More people sick from salmonella linked to Garden of Life RAW Meal products

Posted at 6:38 PM, Feb 19, 2016
and last updated 2016-02-19 18:41:33-05

Health officials have identified seven more cases of salmonella illness linked to Garden of Life RAW Meal Organic Shake & Meal Products, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Friday.

Eighteen people across 15 states have become ill. No deaths have occurred, but four of the sick individuals have been hospitalized.

The newly reported illnesses occurred in six states that previously had not been part of the ongoing multi-state outbreak. Florida, Massachusetts, Maryland, North Carolina, Rhode Island and Texas join Minnesota, New Jersey, New Mexico, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Tennessee, Utah and Wisconsin which previously reported cases.

Public health labs in both Utah and Oklahoma positively identified the strain of salmonella Virchow in this outbreak in samples taken from open containers of Garden of Life RAW Meal that were taken from the homes of ill individuals, according to the Food and Drug Administration.

Last week Garden of Life, LLC added additional lots to their recall of RAW Meal Organic Shakes & Meal Chocolate, Original, Vanilla and Vanilla Chai products. The company first issued a voluntary recall on January 29.

Retailers should not sell these products and consumers should not eat them. Individuals who may be ill after consuming their products should contact a health care provider.

Symptoms, including diarrhea, fever and abdominal cramps, may begin 12 to 72 hours after a person is exposed to the bacteria. Illness can last four to seven days and most people recover on their own.

The earliest symptoms of illness began on December 5 and the most recent individual became ill on February 3.

Most of the ill individuals are male and range in age from 1 to 76.

Salmonella causes an estimated 1 million cases of illness every year in the U.S. including 19,000 hospitalizations and 380 deaths.

The CDC and FDA are continuing to work with state and local health officials to investigate this outbreak.