Chia Products Tied to Salmonella Outbreak

Salmonella outbreak tied to chia seed powder as illnesses found in 12 US states

/ Author:  / Reviewed by: Robert Carlson, M.D Beth Bolt, RPh

(RxWiki News) Although Salmonella outbreaks are often linked to animal products, any food item can carry the bacteria. In an ongoing outbreak, a common health food item is the likely source.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), products containing chia seed powder have been tied to a US Salmonella outbreak.

The investigation is ongoing, and at the latest update, patients in 12 US states had been discovered, leading to multiple recalls. The public is being encouraged to discard any recalled foods.

"Check your kitchen for recalled and expired foods."

An ongoing Salmonella outbreak in the US and Canada has been tied to products containing chia powder, leading to recalls from several different brands.

"Chia powder is made from small chia seeds that are sprouted and ground into powder," explained CDC. "It is often added to health foods like smoothies for its nutritional value."

CDC reported that as of June 9, a total of 21 patients had been discovered in 12 states, two of whom were hospitalized. The state of New York has reported the most patients (four cases), with Connecticut, California and Wisconsin reporting three cases each.

CDC also noted that several similar Salmonella cases have been reported in Canada.

Salmonella causes an infection called salmonellosis, a common food-borne illness. Symptoms often include diarrhea, fever and cramps, often lasting for several days to a week. According to CDC, most people recover on their own, but the infection can sometimes lead to hospitalization and even severe infections causing death.

Items involved in the recall include products from Navitas Naturals, Green Smoothie Girl and Health Matters America, Inc. The Canadian Food Inspection Agency also reported recalls from a number of companies, including Organic Traditions, Back 2 the Garden and Pete's Gluten Free.

Recalled products include plain sprouted chia powder, chia and flax seed powder, fiber blends and smoothie mixes. Recalled products were available across the country, both online and in retail stores.

"The recalled chia products linked to illness have a long shelf-life so may still be in people’s pantries without them knowing it," said CDC, which also noted that people with the recalled products should either discard them or return them.

"This is especially important for children under the age of 5 years, older adults, and people with weakened immune systems," stressed CDC. These groups may be more likely to experience a severe infection after exposure to Salmonella.

Review Date: 
June 14, 2014
Last Updated:
June 16, 2014