A Slew of Food Poisoning Cases Is Being Tied to This Meal Kit Service
Daily Harvest, the vegan meal-delivery service known for its pre-made smoothies, bowls, and flatbreads, has just recalled its French Lentil + Leek Crumbles meat substitute after multiple consumers reported serious health issues tied to consuming it.
Several people who ate the plant-based crumbles took their complaints to social media, sharing that they experienced a range of gastrointestinal issues, including severe stomach pain, nausea, vomiting, and even liver damage.
In a Reddit thread that has racked up almost 150 comments, one user wrote that their wife was hospitalized after "developing symptoms consistent with severe liver problems – extreme fatigue, dark urine, fever, and whole-body itching with no rash." A Twitter user said that he was hospitalized for elevated liver enzyme levels, fever, chills, backaches, jaundice, and had to have his gallbladder removed.
Other social media users shared similar stories, with some saying that doctors were unable to identify the cause of their symptoms.
The lentil and leek crumbles, which were launched in April, are currently listed as "Temporarily Discontinued" on Daily Harvest's website.
In its most recent announcement, the plant-based brand wrote that it "launched an investigation to identify the root cause of the health issues being reported." Daily Harvest also said it enlisted the help of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), along with microbiologists, allergists, and toxin and pathogen experts. According to The Wall Street Journal, the FDA "declined to confirm whether the agency was investigating Daily Harvest's lentil and leek crumbles."
"All pathogen and toxicology results have come back negative so far, but we're continuing to do extensive testing and will keep you updated," Daily Harvest wrote in a June 22 update.
On Sunday, NBC News reported that the meal service emailed customers on June 17, asking them to throw away the crumbles "out of an abundance of caution" and offered them a $10 credit for every bag of the product that was purchased.
Daily Harvest has since come under fire for its response to the issue. In an Instagram post featuring a promotional photo of its Walnut + Thyme Crumbles, the brand vaguely noted "an important message regarding our French Lentil + Leek Crumbles" could be found at the link in bio. Users soon expressed disappointment in the brand's lack of transparency in announcing the serious health hazard.
"i seriously need to know what was going through the daily harvest social team's mind when they decided that the best way to make their FOOD POISONING recall announcement was via an ~aesthetic~ overhead shot of the bad food w/ a vague caption directing followers to a link in bio!!," said one Twitter user.
The Instagram post has since been deleted, and another update was posted yesterday.
Although the FDA has not yet issued a formal recall, Daily Harvest encourages those who have been impacted to file a report or email the brand at [email protected]. Refunds will be issued to customers, as well.