Daily Harvest CEO Says He Identified Tara Flour as Cause of Illnesses

In a recent Daily Harvest update, CEO Rachel Drori says the company has identified tara flour as the cause of more than 470 illnesses reported to the company.

Tara flour comes from the seeds of tara trees native to Peru. Tara flour is one of more than a dozen ingredients listed in French lentil + leek crumbles recalled by Daily Harvest.

As of July 14, the Food and Drug Administration reported 277 reports of people who ate frozen crumbs. The agency continues to advise people not to eat the product and to check their freezers. As of June 30, 133 people had reported illnesses to the FDA.

“Our extensive investigation involved numerous experts analyzing data from all sources. We have only used this ingredient in French Lentil + Leek Crumbles and we no longer source from this producer who does not supply any ingredients for our most than 140 other items,” Drori said. “This was the first and only time we used tara flour, which was available and used in the North American market as a vegetable protein source prior to our use. investigative team will continue to work with the FDA, the tara flour producer and others to help determine what specifically made people sick.

Daily Harvest still believes the problem is limited to French lentil + leek crumbles. “As we continued our sequencing of tests over the past four weeks and reviewed consumer reports and medical records – including analysis by medical toxicologists and food safety experts – the data indicated to several occasions that the problem is isolated to French lentils + crumbled leeks. said Drori.

The product was recalled on June 17. From April 28 to June 17, 2022, 28,000 units of the recalled product were distributed to consumers in the continental United States through online sales and drop-shipping, as well as through in-store retail sales Daily Harvest. in Chicago, IL, and a pop-up store in Los Angeles, CA. Samples were also provided to a small number of consumers.

The FDA is waiting to release more information

In an FDA press statement, the FDA said it was not yet willing to share information about the investigation. “Sharing preliminary investigation information may mislead consumers into believing that a specific ingredient was the cause of an illness or outbreak when in fact it was later ruled out that ‘it is related to an adverse event.

According to the release, the FDA still collects data in addition to samples and performs sample testing on multiple ingredients. This includes extensive testing for many possible adulterants, including microbial and chemical contaminants. Analyzing samples takes time and there is no guarantee that the information available to the agency will show a definitive link between diseases and food.

Learn more about the epidemic

The most recent patient developed symptoms on July 9. All of the sick people report similar symptoms of gastrointestinal illness and abnormal liver function and more than two dozen have had to have their gallbladders removed. Many ill people suffered from liver failure but recovered to some extent. At least one patient is waiting for a liver transplant.

Sick people live in Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Michigan, Missouri, Montana, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, and Wisconsin.

Of the 277 patients who reported illnesses to the FDA, 96 required hospitalization.

Seattle food safety attorney Bill Marler represents more than 200 of the sick and advises sick people to save samples of the product, especially unopened bags, for testing.

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