For many of us, meal kit services are a new necessity—everything that you need to prepare a dish, delivered right to your front door. These services have grown in popularity, eliminating the need to write a list and head to the grocery store every week. But customers of one meal kit service may be getting far more than they bargained for, in the form of liver and gallbladder damage. Read on to find out which service is reportedly making its customers sick, and which product you'll want to throw away if you're a subscriber.
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Customers are often the first to sound the alarm on food making them ill.
Food recalls are a weekly occurrence, generally issued by the manufacturer and further disseminated by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) or the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS). Sometimes, further investigation is needed, particularly when consumers report illnesses. As it turns out, these individuals are often the first to note that something is amiss.
In April, consumers pointed to Lucky Charms cereal, claiming that they had become sick after eating it, according to The New York Post. The FDA began an investigation, testing samples of the cereal and visiting manufacturing facilities, but so far, these customers don't have any answers. The issue arose again in June when customers claimed that Cheerios, also produced by General Mills, was causing them gastrointestinal distress.
The FDA told The Post that investigation is ongoing into these cereals. Now, another company has come under fire for a food product that is causing serious illnesses.
A plant-based product has led to a slew of serious health issues.
If you order meal kits from Daily Harvest, you'll want to be aware of a serious new warning. On June 19, the company issued a statement regarding its French Lentil + Leek Crumbles, stating that it had received reports from customers about gastrointestinal issues after consumption.
In an emailed statement to Best Life on June 22, Daily Harvest confirmed it is in touch with those who had adverse reactions and that the company has "reached out multiple times directly to consumers who received the product" in order to spread the word. "The last thing we'd want is for anyone else to be impacted," the company stated.
On June 17, Daily Harvest issued the voluntary recall in a direct email to customers, NBC News reported, offering a $10 coupon for each bag purchased. But according to customers, a coupon was not a top priority, as the plant-based product was causing far more serious issues than just an upset stomach.
Consumers took it upon themselves to warn others.
Users took to social media to share health issues after consuming the lentil and leek product, with many reporting elevated liver levels.
TikTok influencer Abby Silverman issued a warning on the platform, stating that she received the product in a PR package. The day after consuming it, she experienced severe stomach and gastrointestinal pain that landed her in the hospital, and her issues remain unresolved after visits with doctors. Silverman received an email from Daily Harvest, and upon doing a Google search, she realized others had similar concerning symptoms, namely elevated liver levels.
"I have had to adjust my entire life the last month to deal with this, and part of me is grateful that I have an explanation of what's going on because I've never had a health issue like this before until literally, I ate this," Silverman said in her video, noting that eating the Daily Harvest product was the only change she had made to her routine.
Another TikToker, Luke Tashie, posted about his experience and stomach pain after eating the product, telling NBC News in an email that he experienced "extreme liver pain" leading to hospitalization.
"The surgeons that consulted with me were so perplexed that they seriously considered removing my gallbladder," Tashie told the outlet. Tashie also said he is worried about potential "long-term liver damage" and doesn't believe that Daily Harvest has done enough to address the problem.
One social media post may have made the issue worse.
Comments and concerns have flooded the Daily Harvest Reddit page, citing liver damage, gallbladder issues, and food poisoning. Customers have also commented directly on Daily Harvest's Instagram posts, and according to NBC News, the company began addressing these comments on June 15.
In an Instagram post updated on June 19, the company noted "An important message regarding our French Lentil + Leek Crumbles," instructing customers to click a link in the account's bio in order to read more information. Customers were not thrilled with the post—particularly the unclear caption.
"Fire your comms team," one user commented. "This isn't how you inform your customers that one of your products is sending people to the hospital."
Daily Harvest says it has opened an investigation.
The company now seems to be addressing criticism about its handling of the issue, stressing that it is actively looking into reasons why its product seems to be making people sick.
"We launched an investigation to identify the root cause of the health issues being reported," Daily Harvest said in the emailed statement. "We're working closely with the FDA and with multiple independent labs to investigate this."
The company has also enlisted the help of microbiologists, toxin and pathogen experts, and allergists. "All pathogen and toxicology results have come back negative so far, but we're continuing to do extensive testing and will keep you updated," the statement read. "We are doing everything we can, as quickly as we can, to identify the root cause. Nothing matters more than the health and safety of our customers and we deeply value the trust you put in us and our food every day."
If you have not yet been contacted by Daily Harvest, the company asked that you fill out an online food consumption report or email firstname.lastname@example.org.