On March 3, 2011, FDA announced that Teavana, an Atlanta-based corporation, was issuing a voluntary, nationwide recall of 2,659 pounds of Peppermint Organic Herbal Tea produced by Aromatics Inc., located in Basin City, Washington.
The recall of the tea, which was distributed nationwide in Teavana retail stores and through mail and Internet orders, was due to a potential Salmonella contamination. According to the FDA news release as well as a report published this morning by the News Desk at Food Safety News:
[t]he recall was as the result of a batch sample testing program by the Company after it received a notification of possible contamination by the vendor, which revealed that the finished products contained the bacteria. The Company has ceased the production and distribution of the product as the FDA and the Company continue their investigation as to the origin of the contamination.
In its own press release, Teavana explained that Aromatics, Inc. is the exclusive producer and distributor of Teavana’s Peppermint Organic Herbal tea.
Teavana has more than 150 retail stores in 35 states and Mexico. Typically, the Peppermint Organic Herbal Tea is measured to customer’s orders in stores and sold in 2 oz., $4.30 pre-packaged pouches by mail order or via the Internet. In addition, there are no lot/batch identifying markings on the store or ecommerce packaging. According to the company’s records, retail store stock of the product was sold between Dec. 4, 2010 and Feb. 16, 2011. Mail order and Internet stock was sold between Nov. 30, 2010 and Feb. 16, 2011.
Although there have been no illnesses linked to this voluntary recall reported to date, it is still important to remember that Salmonella can cause serious and sometimes fatal infections in young children, frail or elderly people, and others with weakened immune systems. According to FDA:
Healthy persons infected with Salmonella often experience fever, diarrhea (which may be bloody), nausea, vomiting, and abdominal pain. In rare circumstances, infection with Salmonella can result in the organism getting into the bloodstream and producing more severe illnesses such as arterial infections (i.e., infected aneurysms), endocarditis, and arthritis.
The company is urging consumers who purchased Peppermint Organic Herbal Tea to return it to the place of purchase for a full refund. Moreover, Teavana noted that “any potential health risk can be significantly reduced by following the brewing instructions, which are printed on the package or available online.”
Consumers may also contact Teavana Customer Service at 1-877-832-8262 (Monday through Friday from 8.30 a.m. to 6 p.m., EST) for instructions on how to return the product or any further inquiries.
For more information on Salmonella, visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Web site at http://www.cdc.gov or call 800-CDC-INFO (800-232-4636).