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Walmart Is Recalling This Item After Two Deaths Were Reported

A common household product, sold in 55 Walmart stores and on, has evidently gone seriously bad.

When you're stocking up on groceries, sometimes it's a treat to grab something new to try for the home. Unfortunately, in what seems to be an unusual turn of events, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission announced Friday that a casual household purchase appears to have turned deadly for at least two people, including one child. Now, a CDC investigation has discovered that the product—a well-known brand of room spray—is likely to contain a deadly species of bacteria that's typically only found on the other side of the world.

Keep reading to learn if this aromatherapy room spray is something you've tried. Also, don't miss Friday's report: This Chemical Found in Groceries Kills More Than 90,000 People Every Year, New Study Finds.

Better Homes & Gardens Essential Oil Infused Aromatherapy Room Spray with Gemstones

Better Homes and Gardens Room Spray
Courtesy of U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission published an announcement Friday to advise that approximately 3,900 containers of a commonly sold room spray were being recalled. Six fragrance varieties of Better Homes & Gardens Essential Oil Infused Aromatherapy Room Spray with Gemstones have been included in the recall—those scents are: Lavender, Lavender & Chamomile, Sandalwood & Vanilla, Lemon & Mandarin, Peppermint, and Lime & Eucalyptus.

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"A Rare and Dangerous Bacteria"

Scientists and microbiologists with PPE suit and face mask hold test tube and microscope in lab

The authorities stated the recall was being conducted after testing by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) discovered "the possible presence of a rare and dangerous bacteria and risk of serious injury and death."

They report the Lavender & Chamomile variety of the Better Homes & Gardens room spray tested positive for Burkholderia pseudomallei. This type of bacteria can lead to melioidosis, which the CDC says "is an infectious disease that can infect humans or animals" and is "predominantly a disease of tropical climates, especially in Southeast Asia and northern Australia where it is widespread." (The products were reportedly made in India.)

The CDC suggests signs of melioidosis infection may present in a number of ways, such as fever or swelling, lung-related problems, headache, body pains, and several others. The CDC offers a list of melioidosis symptoms here.

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The Incidents

modern blue house with front lawn in suburbs
Shutterstock / Breadmaker

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission says four cases of melioidosis are under investigation in Kansas, Minnesota, Texas and Georgia, with two of those having resulted in death. One of the fatalities was a child.

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Better Homes & Gardens Room Spray Product Details

Walmart app

Here are the product details the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission provides about the Better Homes & Gardens Room Spray:

"The aromatherapy room spray was sold at about 55 Walmart stores nationwide and online at from February 2021 through October 2021 for about $4. "Better Homes and Gardens Aromatherapy," is printed on the label on the front of the 5-ounce glass bottle. The aromatherapy was sold with a pump spray nozzle in the following scents and product numbers:

84140411420 Better Homes and Gardens (BHG) Gem Room Spray Lavender & Chamomile

84140411421 Better Homes and Gardens (BHG) Gem Room Spray Lemon and Mandarin

84140411422 Better Homes and Gardens (BHG) Gem Room Spray Lavender

84140411423 Better Homes and Gardens (BHG) Gem Room Spray Peppermint

84140411424 Better Homes and Gardens (BHG) Gem Room Spray Lime & Eucalyptus

84140411425 Better Homes and Gardens (BHG) Gem Room Spray Sandalwood and Vanilla

What to Do If You Bought This Better Homes & Gardens Room Spray

walmart interior

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission offers the following steps for removing the product from your home. They state these instructions are "consistent with CDC's guidance":

  • Stop using this product immediately. Do not open the bottle. Do not attempt to throw away or dispose of the bottle.
  • Double bag the bottle in clean, clear zip-top resealable bags and place in a small cardboard box. Return the bagged and boxed product to a Walmart store.
  • Wash sheets or linens that the product may have been sprayed on using normal laundry detergent and dry completely in a hot dryer, bleach can be used if desired.
  • Wipe down counters and surfaces that might have been exposed to the spray with an undiluted disinfectant cleaner.
  • Minimize handling of the product and wash hands thoroughly after handling the bottle or linens. Wash hands thoroughly after removing gloves.

They state Walmart is offering refunds for the product, and that "Customers will also receive a $20 Walmart Gift Card upon return." The CDC's press release is here.

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grocery shopping

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Krissy Gasbarre
Krissy is a senior news editor at Eat This, Not That!, managing morning and weekend news related to nutrition, wellness, restaurants and groceries (with a focus on beverages), and more. Read more about Krissy