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Nationwide Salmonella Concern Leads to Extensive Trader Joe’s Herb Recall

A significant health alert has been issued as Trader Joe’s, a popular grocery store chain, recalls organic basil due to a salmonella outbreak that has already hospitalized one individual. This precautionary measure affects stores across 29 states and the District of Columbia, prompting a rigorous response from health authorities and the company to ensure consumer safety.

The Recall Details

The recall specifically targets 2.5-ounce packets of organic basil supplied by Infinite Herbs, a Florida-based company. The affected products were available for purchase between February 1 and April 6. Customers who have bought this product during the specified period are urged to either dispose of it or return it to any Trader Joe’s store for a full refund. This decision comes in the wake of findings from an investigation by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), in collaboration with the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), which linked the herb to several cases of salmonella infection.

Scope of the Outbreak

According to the CDC, there have been 12 reported cases of salmonella linked to this outbreak across seven states, with one case severe enough to require hospitalization. Health officials believe that the actual number of affected individuals may be higher, as many people who fall sick with salmonella may not seek medical attention and therefore go unreported. This underreporting means that the outbreak could potentially extend beyond the states where cases have been identified.

States Affected

The contaminated basil was distributed to Trader Joe’s stores in a wide range of states, including Alabama, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Tennessee, Vermont, Virginia, and Wisconsin.

Trader Joe’s Response

In response to the outbreak, Trader Joe’s has acted swiftly to remove the implicated product from its shelves and has issued a recall notice urging customers to return or dispose of the basil. The company has also updated its website to inform customers about the potential contamination, reaffirming its commitment to customer safety and health. Trader Joe’s Customer Relations is available for queries, offering direct communication channels to address consumer concerns.

Infinite Herbs’ Statement

Infinite Herbs, the supplier of the organic basil, operates out of Doral, Florida, and prides itself on producing high-quality culinary herbs. The company maintains that it adheres to stringent growing, harvesting, and shipping standards, which are backed by various certifications. Despite these measures, the salmonella outbreak has occurred, prompting a reevaluation of current safety protocols to prevent future incidents.

What Consumers Need to Know

Salmonella is a bacterial disease that can cause serious and sometimes fatal infections in young children, frail or elderly people, and others with weakened immune systems. Healthy individuals often experience fever, diarrhea (which may be bloody), nausea, vomiting, and abdominal pain. In rare circumstances, the organism can get into the bloodstream and produce more severe illnesses.

Looking Forward

As Trader Joe’s and Infinite Herbs navigate the fallout from this recall, the primary focus remains on consumer safety and preventing further cases of illness. This incident serves as a crucial reminder of the importance of stringent safety standards in food production and the need for prompt action when those standards are compromised.


The recent salmonella outbreak linked to organic basil from Trader Joe’s has highlighted critical issues within food safety and public health communications. As affected customers in 29 states deal with the recall, both Trader Joe’s and Infinite Herbs must work diligently to restore confidence and ensure such an outbreak does not happen again. For consumers, staying informed and adhering to recall notices is paramount to maintaining health and safety.