The CDC is working with several states to investigate an outbreak of Salmonella illnesses, an agency spokesperson said Monday evening. Earlier in the day the FDA posted a recall notice from Natural Grocers for its branded “Coconut Smiles Organic” because of Salmonella contamination.
Six illnesses have been reported in connection with the Natural Grocers coconut, according to the company’s recall notice. The Lakewood, CO, company and the Food and Drug Administration both found Salmonella in packages of the coconut
Natural Grocers distributed the implicated “Coconut Smiles Organic” to 145 stores in 19 states.
The federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is working with officials in an undisclosed number of states as it tries to determine the scope of the outbreak.
“Information available at this time indicates Coconut Smiles Organic sold in Natural Grocers stores may be contaminated with Salmonella and is one likely source of illnesses in this outbreak,” a CDC spokesperson told Food Safety News Monday evening.
“CDC plans to post an announcement as soon as possible, which will include a recommendation that people not eat recalled Coconut Smiles Organic from Natural Grocers. This investigation is ongoing.”
Natural Grocers reported the suspension of production of the recalled product pending the outcome of the investigation.
“The potential for contamination was noted after routine testing by the company revealed the presence of Salmonella in some packages,” Natural Grocers reported. “The recall was initiated after it was discovered that a sample taken by the Food and Drug Administration was positive for Salmonella.
“Consumers who may have purchased this product should return it to the store for credit or refund.”
Consumers can identify the recalled “Coconut Smiles Organic” by looking for the following label information:
- The recalled product is packaged in clear plastic bags weighing 10 ounces;
- The “Natural Grocers” brand is on the label;
- All packages with packed-on dates prior to “18-075” are subject to recall. The packed-on date can be found in the bottom left corner of the label;
- UPC number 8034810.
Natural Grocers distributed the recalled coconut product in 19 states: Arkansas, Arizona, Colorado, Iowa, Idaho, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Mexico, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Oregon, Texas, Utah, Washington, and Wyoming. Consumers can find the specific locations of the Natural Grocers stores in those states at https://www.naturalgrocers.com/storelocations/store-directory/.
Consumers with questions may contact the company by calling customer service at 303-986-4600, Ext. 80531, Monday through Friday 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Mountain time.
Advice to consumers
Salmonella is a microorganism that can cause serious and sometimes fatal infections in young children, frail or elderly people, and others with weakened immune systems, including diabetics, cancer patients, transplant recipients and HIV patients.
Anyone who has eaten any of the recalled products and developed symptoms of Salmonella poisoning should seek medical attention immediately and tell their doctors about their possible exposure to the pathogen.
Symptoms can include fever, diarrhea that is often bloody, nausea, vomiting and abdominal pain. In rare circumstances, infection with Salmonella can result in the organism getting into the bloodstream and producing more severe illnesses such as arterial infections, endocarditis, and arthritis.
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