The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has announced that it is investigating a multistate outbreak of Salmonella Newport infection that is linked to organic sprouted chia powder distributed by Navitas Naturals of Novato, California.
The outbreak has affected at least 12 people from seven states since late January and related cases have also been reported in Canada. One person has been hospitalised, but no deaths have been reported.
Epidemiological and traceback investigations have established a link with the Navitas Naturals organic chia powder, which is made from ground dry chia seeds. Six out of seven cases interviewed recalled eating the product before becoming ill. Microbiological tests are now being carried out on leftover chia powder recovered from the homes of people affected and on unopened packs from retail outlets.
Navitas Naturals voluntarily recalled three products containing the implicated chia powder because of the contamination risk on 28 May. The recall covers organic sprouted chia powder, and two smoothie mix products sold under the Navitas Naturals and Williams-Sonoma brands and packed in 8-ounce packs with various ‘best by’ dates. Two Canadian companies, Advantage Health Matters and Back 2 the Garden, have also recalled chia powder products because of possible Salmonella contamination.
More information about the CDC investigation can be found here.