Washington, D.C./ Retail & Industry
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Published on April 19, 2024
Trader Joe's Pulls Organic Basil from Stores in 29 States and DC Amid Salmonella ConcernsSource: Harrison Keely, CC BY 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

A salmonella scare has prompted Trader Joe’s to yank its basil from shelves in 29 states and the District of Columbia, with the outbreak reportedly sickening a dozen people across seven states. The suspect produce is Infinite Herbs organic basil, distributed in 2.5-ounce clamshell packages and sold between February 1 and April 6, as per the Patch report.

So far, there have been no reported illnesses in Virginia or DC, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention stated however, in cases with available information, a notable seven out of eight people confirmed exposure to the Trader Joe’s basil before falling ill, the CDC adds warnings to customers who might have bought and later discarded the packaging or froze the basil to dispose of the herb and sanitize any surfaces it may have touched, these safety measures, according to The Washington Post, are essential to prevent further spread.

In an email to The Washington Post, a representative from Trader Joe’s emphasized the retailer’s commitment to safety and its proactive stance on recalls. According to the spokesperson, the company's food safety processes are continually being improved and its recall procedures extend well beyond necessary regulations. Symptoms of salmonella can be severe, including fever, diarrhea, and intestinal cramps, which for some groups like young children and the elderly, pose a particularly high risk.

Grego Berliavsky, CEO of Infinite Herbs, has expressed his concern regarding the outbreak and the impact on their customers, "Your health and safety are our top priorities … I am heartbroken at the thought that any item we sold may have caused illness or discomfort," Berliavsky said in a statement cited by USA Today. The CDC’s ongoing investigation looks to pinpoint the source of the contamination and determine if there are other affected products while Trader Joe's has initiated the voluntary recall and removal of the basil from its stores.