Supplement Shake Mixes Found to be the Cause of Salmonella Outbreak

Supplement Shake Mixes Found to be the Cause of Salmonella Outbreak
Food Safety Contamination

Health officials have linked a 7-state salmonella outbreak to Garden of Life meal replacement shakes. The Minnesota Department of Health says at least 8 people have been sickened.

That number is likely to be much longer, as many people don’t report cases of food poisoning. Minnesota health officials said they wanted to “bring this outbreak to the attention of people who have become ill with symptoms of salmonellosis but who have not yet consulted a health care provider. These people should mention this outbreak to their health care provider should they consult one.” [1]

The source of the salmonella is Garden of Life’s Raw Meal Organic Shake & Meal powdered mixes. In a press release, the Palm Beach Gardens, Fla. company said it was “voluntarily withdrawing a limited quantity of Raw Meal Organic Shake & Meal in the flavors chocolate, original, vanilla and vanilla Chai” because it may be contaminated with the pathogen Salmonella Virchow.

The Minnesota Department of Health is also assisting health and agriculture officials in other states to determine whether the shake mixes are the source of other salmonella outbreaks.

“Two cases of Salmonella Virchow infection with the same DNA fingerprint pattern have been reported to the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) since Jan. 11.,” according to the MDH outbreak announcement. “One case was a child and one was an adult in his 30s. Neither was hospitalized, and both have recovered.”

Several people have been sickened by the Salmonella Virchow pathogen in Wisconsin, Tennessee, Oregon, New Jersey, New Mexico, and Utah. Many of the patients reportedly consumed the Garden of Life shakes.

A full list of the affected mixes.

Most of the other states have reported single cases, according to Minnesota officials.

“One of the Minnesota cases ate vanilla flavored product and one ate chocolate flavored product,” the MDH reported

“Cases in other states reported eating the vanilla flavor or the chocolate flavor. This type of food product is often purchased at nutrition stores and food cooperatives. The two cases in Minnesota purchased the items at separate places.”

Symptoms of salmonellosis include diarrhea, abdominal pain and fever. In extreme cases, it can cause serious blood infections, meningitis, or even death. Children, seniors, pregnant women, and those with weakened immune systems are most at risk. In healthy individuals, symptoms typically last about a week.

About 28% of laboratory-confirmed cases require hospitalization. Symptoms generally begin within 12 to 72 hours after exposure. [2]

The recall involves all flavors purchased on or after November 1, 2015 marked with a “best by” date of 09/2017 on the bottom of the container.


[1] Food Poisoning Bulletin

[2] Food Safety News