Salmonella Risk Prompts Herbal Tea Recall

Teavana Corporation just issued a product recall of 2,659 lbs of Peppermint Organic Herbal Tea produced by Aromatics Inc., of Basin City, Washington, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced. The recalled product has the potential to be contaminated with <"">Salmonella, a dangerous, potentially fatal, foodborne pathogen. Aromatics Inc. exclusively produces and distributes Teavana’s Peppermint Organic Herbal Tea.

The recall followed a batch sample testing conducted by Teavana after it received notification of potential Salmonella contamination by Aromatics Inc, which revealed that the finished Peppermint Organic Herbal Tea products contained the Salmonella bacteria. Distribution and production of the product have been halted while Teavana and the FDA investigate from where the contamination origination.

While no illness related to this recall has been reported, to date, any potential health risk is significantly reduced when following the printed brewing instructions on the package or available online. Also, symptoms do not always immediately manifest. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), people infected with the Salmonella food poisoning pathogen usually experience symptoms beginning 12 to 72 hours after consuming a contaminated food or beverage.

The Peppermint Organic Herbal Tea was distributed nationwide in Teavana retail stores and through mail and Internet orders. The Peppermint Organic Herbal Tea is sold measured to customer’s orders in retail stores and sold in two-ounce pre-packaged pouches by mail order or through the Internet.

The recalled product contains no lot/batch identifying markings on the store or ecommerce packaging. Retail store stock was sold between December 4, 2010 and February 16, 2011. Mail order and Internet stock was sold between November 30, 2010 and February 16, 2011.

Consumers who have purchased Peppermint Organic Herbal Tea are urged to return it to the place of purchase for a full refund. Consumers may also contact Teavana Customer Service, toll-free, at 1-877-832-8262, Monday through Friday, from 8.30 a.m. to 6:00 p.m., Eastern Standard Time, for instructions on how to return the product.

Salmonella-contaminated food may not look or smell spoiled; however, consumption of food contaminated with the Salmonella bacteria may cause the foodborne illness known as Salmonellosis. Symptoms of Salmonella poisoning include fever, vomiting, abdominal cramps, and diarrhea and usually last four to seven days.

Most persons recover without antibiotic treatment; however, the diarrhea can be severe, and hospitalization may be required. The elderly, infants, and those with impaired immune systems may develop more serious illness with the infection potentially spreading from the intestines to the blood stream, and then to other body sites; this can cause death unless the person is treated promptly with antibiotics.

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