Trader Joe's Is Recalling Basil Due To Salmonella. Here's What You Should Know

In disappointing news for fans of Trader Joe's, the grocery chain's Infinite Herbs Organic Basil is being recalled for links to several confirmed cases of Salmonella. One person has been hospitalized so far. If you purchased the product between February 1 and April 6, you could risk exposure. According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC) and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), an investigation has found that the outbreaks are linked to Trader Joe's locations across the Midwest and East Coast, including Alabama, Connecticut, Washington D.C., Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Iowa, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Massachusetts, Maryland, Maine, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, North Carolina, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, Vermont, and Wisconsin. 

Of those affected areas, 12 cases of illness have been detected in seven states with the latest symptom onset on April 2. Salmonella contamination easily goes undetected in food, so the investigation of the outbreak is ongoing. The 2.5-ounce packages are distributed by Infinite Herbs LLC, based in Miami, Florida. The company has agreed with Trader Joe's to enact a voluntary recall. Anyone who purchased the product within the recall window should take precautions to sanitize all surfaces and containers the tainted herbs may have come in contact with. As with previous recalls in Trader Joe's history, customers can either dispose of the contaminated package or return it for a full refund. For more information, contact Trader Joe's customer relations line at (626) 599-3817.

Salmonella outbreaks are more common than you think

Unfortunately, the number of Salmonella cases from this outbreak is likely higher than reported. Symptoms usually occur within 12 to 72 hours after exposure, but sometimes there may be no symptoms. Once affected, the illness can last anywhere from four to 10 days and be contagious for the duration. Most recoveries require no treatment, but if the infection moves beyond the intestinal tract, it could be life-threatening. Common symptoms include diarrhea, vomiting, abdominal cramps, and fever. The risk of dehydration is high, so contact a healthcare provider if you notice any symptoms. 

According to the CDC, Salmonella is one of the most common foodborne illnesses in the United States, with about 1.35 million cases per year. Frequent Trader Joe's shoppers might know this is not the store's first food recall of 2024. In March, the company recalled chicken soup dumplings for plastic contamination and pulled specific nuts from stock after reports of multistate Salmonella outbreaks. Although it's upsetting, grocery recalls are pretty common and extend beyond Trader Joe's. Per Statistica, the FDA recalls around a hundred million units of food every quarter, and the leading cause is microbiological contamination.