Massive Recall Issued for Common Herb

Billion Photos /
Billion Photos /

Fresh basil is a household favorite for foodies and cooks nationwide. However, a recent batch of it could also cause illness.

According to NPR, at least 12 people recently contracted salmonella after ingesting fresh basil mostly sold at Trader Joe’s stores in seven states.

As the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) reported, at least one of the 12 has been hospitalized so far.

Contamination is suspected by the fresh basil sold by the Infinite Herbs brand at Trader Joe’s stores in the District of Columbia and at least 30 other states. It was also sold at Fruit Center Marketplace stores in Massachusetts, the CDC says.

Most of the sales seemed to have happened between February 1 and April 6.

However, the recall has been expanded to include Melissa’s brand organic basil, which was sold at Dierberg’s stores in Illinois and Missouri between February 10 and February 20.

The 12 known to be infected by salmonella lived in Florida, Georgia, Minnesota, Missouri, New Jersey, Rhode Island, and Wisconsin.

However, as the CDC reports there are probably far more people than just these 12 that were infected, which may live in quite a few other states.

Seeing as salmonella presents itself with symptoms like indigestion, diarrhea, and/or vomiting, many people don’t necessarily run to the doctor. Instead, they simply wait out their symptoms at home without ever being tested.

Naturally, since the outbreak, Infinite Herbs has posted to the company’s website about the incident and profusely apologized for the part they may have played in anyone’s “illness or discomfort.” CEO Grego Berliavsky also promised to “not rest until we can once again be confident in the safety of this product.”

As such, they have contacted the farmer where the herbs came from and working with them to investigate just what happened and to make sure it doesn’t happen again.