Salmonella, the most common foodborne illness usually found in meat and egg products, has been found in a health food powder, according to the.
Product recalls have been made within the United States and the launch of a multistate health investigation has begun after several cases of salmonella poisoning have surfaced, according to federal officials on Friday.
Salmonella was reportedly found in chia seed power, a health food powder that is commonly used in smoothies and snacks for its nutritional value. Chia seed power has reportedly sickened at least 21 people across the United States.
“It is the first time that chia powder has been identified as a food that transmits salmonella,” stated Centers for Disease Control and Prevention investigator Dr. Laura Gieraltowski.
The number of chia-linked salmonella outbreaks is extremely low compared with illnesses caused by other foods. However, the powder’s long shelf life and small serving could mean that more people are getting ill but do not realize it, according to Gieraltowski.
“People are just getting sick at a slower rate,” said Gieraltowski.
An additional 34 infections have been reported to the Public Health Agency of Canada, according to
Last month, state and federal officials began investigating 11 reports of salmonella outbreaks across the United States that were reportedly traced back to chia powder. Investigators identified two new strains of salmonella in the powder, named Hartford and Newport.
Many of those who were affected by salmonella poisoning were reportedly vegan, vegetarian or had largely organic diets, according to Gieraltowski. They had a median age of 49.
This month, Navitas Naturals brand expanded a voluntary recall, started in late May, of multiple nutritional powder products containing chia powder, stated the CDC.
Brands Williams-Sonoma Inc, Green Smoothie Girl and Health Matters America also reportedly launched recalls this month of chia products over salmonella poisoning concerns.