The FDA has published a new advisory stating that Minnesota company United Natural Foods is voluntarily recalling some of its organic basil products over the risk of contamination with parasites. The recalled basil was only distributed over the course of around two weeks, according to the FDA, which says that there haven’t been any reports at this time about illnesses resulting from this product.
The recall involves Wild Harvest Organic Fresh Basil, which is sold in plastic clamshell containers in sizes ranging from 0.25oz to 4oz. The company says only that “a limited quantity” of the basil is being recalled because there’s a chance it may be contaminated with a microscopic parasite called Cyclospora cayetanensis.
According to the FDA, someone who consumes this parasite may develop cyclosporiasis, an intestinal illness that usually causes a person to develop diarrhea, but that may also cause issues like gas, nausea, cramping, loss of appetite, weight loss, and fatigue. In uncommon cases, the person may also develop a low-grade fever and experience vomiting.
If you purchased some Wild Harvest Organic Fresh Basil products from around mid-April through early May, you can determine whether they’re included in the recall by looking for any of the following UPC codes on the containers, which will also feature white stickers that read “Product of Columbia” and “112” in black ink:
Routine sampling identified the risk in this batch of basil, the FDA says in its advisory. Fortunately, the scope of the risk is very small — the company only distributed this potentially contaminated basil to Minnesota grocery stores, meaning most people were never at risk of illness. Consumers who purchased the basil are warned to throw it away.