If you follow this Reddit thread – https://www.reddit.com/r/revivesuperfoods/comments/voglbs/revive_superfoods_smoothies_liver_issues_sickness/ it certainly seems that the numbers of ill coming forward are growing of people with nearly identical acute symptoms – abnormal liver enzymes and bilirubin, many with gallbladder involvement.  Many have had multiple blood tests, MRIs, CTs, ultrasounds, with likely liver biopsies and gall bladder removals.

These are essentially the same symptoms and outcomes that have surfaced after being retained by and speaking to the over 175 people linked to the consumption of Daily Harvest products – specifically (but not exclusively), the French Lentil + Leek Crumbles. See also this Reddit thread – https://www.reddit.com/r/DailyHarvest/comments/vcqwxe/extreme_stomach_painsickness_from_lentilleek/

We are presently testing about 40 samples of Daily Harvest products, and have offered samples to the FDA, and have offered to share our test results with the FDA and with Daily Harvest. We have asked all clients to report their illnesses to the FDA hotline.

We believe that the illnesses may well be linked to a common ingredient called Tara that comes exclusively from Peru (this due because it is a unique ingredient to the French Lentil + Leek Crumbles AND to certain Revive Smoothies where people are reporting identical symptoms). We have also learned, and are still investigating, that the manufacturer of Daily Harvest products is in Minnesota – more on that soon.

Daily Harvest French Lentil + Leek Crumbles ingredients
Revive Superfood Smoothie Ingredient

We are trying to track down the suppliers of the Tara to both Daily Harvest and Revive – more on that soon as well.

So, the question remains – who supplied the Tara and what is the likely contaminate or toxin that is causing the illnesses? What say you FDA, CFIA, Daily Harvest and Revive?

According to www.silvateam.com, Tara is:

Caesalpinia spinosa is a shrub or tree that can reach a height of 8 meters with spreading, grey-barked leafy branches. The leaves are compound, bipinnate, alternate and spirally organized and reach a length of 35 cm. The fruit is a flat oblong indehiscent reddish pod which contains 4 ~ 7 large round black seeds composed of endosperm (22% by weight), germ (40%) and hull (38%).

The tara tree is native to the Cordillera region of Peru and Bolivia in South America, where the fruit grows from April to December. Tara trees grow at up to 3,000 meters above sea level and tolerate dry climates and poor soils including those high in sand and rocks. The tree is also resistant to most pathogens and pests. Mature pods are usually harvested by hand and typically sun dried before processing.

Tara

A wide range of hydrocolloids and stabilizers are used in the food and beverage industry to perform a range of technological functions and offer innovative products answering to consumer’s needs.
Tara gum is a natural additive, obtained by grinding the endosperm of the seeds of Caesalpinia spinosa, of the Leguminosae family. Tara gum, also called Peruvian carob, is a white to yellowish powder which is soluble in hot water and partially soluble in cold water.

Chemically, tara gum is comprised of polysaccharides, mainly galactomannans, of high molecular weight.

Tara gum is approved as a food additive by the Food Chemicals Codex and functions mainly as a thickener and stabilizer.

As of June 29, 2022, a total of 23 people infected with the outbreak strain of Listeria monocytogenes have been reported from 10 states. Of the 22 people with information, 20 sick people reported living in or traveling to Florida in the month before they got sick, although the significance of this is still under investigation. Illnesses started on dates ranging from January 24, 2021, through June 12, 2022.

The CDC reported that sick people range in age from less than 1 to 92 years, with a median age of 72, and 52% are male. Twenty-two people (96%) have been hospitalized. Five people got sick during their pregnancy, and one illness resulted in a fetal loss. One death has been reported from Illinois.

The Florida Department of Health, CDC, public health and regulatory officials in several other states, and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) are collecting different types of data to investigate a multistate outbreak of Listeria monocytogenes infections. As a result of this investigation, Big Olaf Creamery in Sarasota, FL, is voluntarily contacting retail locations to recommend against selling their ice cream products. Consumers who have Big Olaf Creamery brand ice cream at home should throw away any remaining product.

Public health officials continue to interview people about the foods they ate in the month before they got sick. Of the 17 people interviewed, 14 (82%) reported eating ice cream. Among 13 people who remembered details about the type of ice cream they ate, six reported eating Big Olaf Creamery brand ice cream or eating ice cream at locations that might have been supplied by Big Olaf Creamery.

On July 1, 2022, Big Olaf Creamery in Sarasota, FL, voluntarily began contacting retail locations to recommend against selling their ice cream products. Consumers who have Big Olaf Creamery brand ice cream at home should throw away any remaining product.

Public health officials continue to interview people about the foods they ate in the month before they got sick. Of the 17 people interviewed, 14 (82%) reported eating ice cream. Among 13 people who remembered details about the type of ice cream they ate, six reported eating Big Olaf Creamery brand ice cream or eating ice cream at locations that might have been supplied by Big Olaf Creamery.

Happy 4th of July!

Over the last week and a half, I have spoken to, and been retained by, over 175 people linked to the consumption of Daily Harvest products – specifically (but not exclusively), the French Lentil + Leek Crumbles. We are presently testing about 40 samples and have offered samples to the FDA and have offered to share our test results with the FDA and with Daily Harvest. We have asked all clients to report their illnesses to the FDA hotline.

We believe that the illnesses may well be linked to a common ingredient called Tara that comes exclusively from Peru (this due because it is a unique ingredient to the French Lentil + Leek Crumbles AND to certain Revive Smoothies where people are reporting identical symptoms). We have also learned, and are still investigating, that the manufacturer of Daily Harvest products is located in Minnesota – more on that soon.

This is a very interesting and tragic outbreak that has hit, mostly women between the ages of 25 and 45 (otherwise healthy) who consumed the French Lentil + Leek Crumbles in May and June 2022 (product appears to have hit the market in very late April or early May and was pulled in mid June).

They nearly all have identical acute symptoms – abnormal liver enzymes and bilirubin, many with gallbladder involvement.  Many have had multiple blood tests, MRIs, CTs, ultrasounds, liver biopsies and gall bladder removals.  No positive clinical (human) test for a causative agent has yet to be determined. One client I spoke to this morning will be undergoing gallbladder removal this coming week.

According to Daily Harvest, they had received 470 complaints as of last week and the FDA has reported 133.

Question to the CDC, I can give you access to 175 people and to their medical records – if you have an interest, you know where to find me.

The good thing about both practicing food law for a long time and having a foodborne epidemiologist on staff is that we have the history of these outbreaks at our fingertips.

YearState/MultistateAgentIllHospitalizedDiedBrand
2021-2022MultistateListeria monocytogenes23221Big Olaf Creamery
2014WashingtonListeria monocytogenes220Snoqualmie Ice Cream
2010-2015MultistateListeria monocytogenes10103Blue Bell
2008VermontE. coli O157:H7630Homemade Ice Cream, unpasteurized milk
2008MinnesotaSalmonella Heidelberg200Homemade ice cream
2008CaliforniaE. coli O157:H7200Consumed at a restaurant; brand or pasteurization unknown
2007CaliforniaNorovirus1700Ice cream with berries, berries were likely the contaminated ingredient
2007PennsylvaniaCampylobacter300Homemade ice cream
2007MinnesotaHepatitis A1560Ice cream or yogurt at a restaurant
2007West VirginiaSalmonella Enteritidis820Homemade ice cream
2006BelgiumE. coli O145 and E. coli 0261250Ice cream at a farm
2006CaliforniaSalmonella600Homemade Ice Cream
2005 MultistateSalmonella Typhimurium26110Cold Stone Creamery (cake batter was the contaminated ingredient)
1994MultistateSalmonella Enteritidis1200Schwan’s Ice Cream – the estimated # of ill cases is 224,000!
1993FloridaSalmonella Enteritidis593  Homemade Ice Cream

Inquiring minds, and people with acute liver failure, would like to know.

After speaking with over 175 people in the last week who have suffered nearly identical symptoms, and who primarily ate the Daily Harvest French Lentil + Leek Crumbles, we are sill at a loss as to what toxin, chemical, etc., are causing these symptoms and what, if any, are the long-term impacts. The lab we are using and the FDA are hard at work trying to get to the bottom of this.

Due to a bit of luck, it appears that Tara, because it is only found in the French Lentil + Leek Crumbles, may be key in figuring out what is causing this outbreak.

Tara, or Caesalpinia spinosa is a shrub or tree that can reach a height of 8 meters with spreading, grey-barked leafy branches. The leaves are compound, bipinnate, alternate and spirally organized and reach a length of 35 cm. The fruit is a flat oblong indehiscent reddish pod which contains 4 ~ 7 large round black seeds composed of endosperm (22% by weight), germ (40%) and hull (38%). The tara tree is native to the Cordillera region of Peru and Bolivia in South America, where the fruit grows from April to December. Tara trees grow at up to 3,000 meters above sea level and tolerate dry climates and poor soils including those high in sand and rocks. The tree is also resistant to most pathogens and pests. Mature pods are usually harvested by hand and typically sun dried before processing. It appears to only grow above 9,000 feet in Peru – a trip to Machu Picchu is in order.

I am learning much about Tara – both as a gum our a flour – and its implications as a food item. There will be more on that later. Question: Daily Harvest, where did you source your Tara from?

Also, it seems a bit unclear from this language on the bag of Daily Harvest French Lentil + Leek Crumbles, if Daily Harvest or some other entity manufactured the product. Answer?

MADE IN A FACILITY THAT ALSO PROCESSES TREE NUTS, SOY, DAIRY, & SESAME

DISTR. BUT DAILY HARVEST INC. NEW YORK, NY 10013

Key Facts:

States impacted: Florida, Colorado, Georgia, Kansas, Minnesota, Illinois, Pennsylvania, Massachusetts, New York, New Jersey

23 sick

22 hospitalized

1 death and 1 fetal loss

The Florida Department of Health, CDC, public health and regulatory officials in several other states, and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) are collecting different types of data to investigate a multistate outbreak of Listeria monocytogenes infections. As a result of this investigation, Big Olaf Creamery in Sarasota, FL, is voluntarily contacting retail locations to recommend against selling their ice cream products. Consumers who have Big Olaf Creamery brand ice cream at home should throw away any remaining product.

Public health officials continue to interview people about the foods they ate in the month before they got sick. Of the 17 people interviewed, 14 (82%) reported eating ice cream. Among 13 people who remembered details about the type of ice cream they ate, six reported eating Big Olaf Creamery brand ice cream or eating ice cream at locations that might have been supplied by Big Olaf Creamery.

On July 1, 2022, Big Olaf Creamery in Sarasota, FL, voluntarily began contacting retail locations to recommend against selling their ice cream products. Consumers who have Big Olaf Creamery brand ice cream at home should throw away any remaining product.

Public health officials continue to interview people about the foods they ate in the month before they got sick. Of the 17 people interviewed, 14 (82%) reported eating ice cream. Among 13 people who remembered details about the type of ice cream they ate, six reported eating Big Olaf Creamery brand ice cream or eating ice cream at locations that might have been supplied by Big Olaf Creamery.

As of June 29, 2022, a total of 23 people infected with the outbreak strain of Listeria monocytogenes have been reported from 10 states. Of the 22 people with information, 20 sick people reported living in or traveling to Florida in the month before they got sick, although the significance of this is still under investigation. Illnesses started on dates ranging from January 24, 2021, through June 12, 2022.

Sick people range in age from less than 1 to 92 years, with a median age of 72, and 52% are male. Twenty-two people (96%) have been hospitalized. Five people got sick during their pregnancy, and one illness resulted in a fetal loss. One death has been reported from Illinois.

Who supplied the Tara and what is the likely contaminate or toxin is causing the illnesses? What say you FDA, Daily Harvest and Revive?

Over the last week, I have spoke to and been retained by over 160 people linked to the consumption of Daily Harvest products – specifically, the French Lentil + Leek Crumbles. This is a very interesting and tragic outbreak – nearly identical acute symptoms – abnormal liver enzymes and bilirubin, many with gallbladder involvement.  Many have had multiple blood tests, MRIs, CTs, ultrasounds, liver biopsies and gall bladder removals.  No positive clinical (human) test for a causative agent has yet to be determined.  We are testing about 40 samples of the common food product – Daily Harvest French Lentil + Leek Crumbles.

One thing we have learned from reviewing all the product ingredients is that the Daily Harvest French Lentil + Leek Crumbles share one ingredient that other Daily Harvest products do not – Tara.

Here is just one complaint from a very long Reddit thread:

“Extreme stomach pain/sickness from lentil+leek crumbles.”  See: https://www.reddit.com/r/DailyHarvest/comments/vcqwxe/extreme_stomach_painsickness_from_lentilleek/

Two weeks ago I tried the crumbles for the first time. That night, I had debilitating stomach pain, like nothing I had ever felt before. It was so bad I had to go to the ER as a last ditch effort to alleviate and manage the pain. After a CT scan, IV, meds, and a week on a bland diet I thought perhaps it was some sort of bug.

Several days later I tried a flatbread from them and had a fever the next day. I thought it was related to the previous bout of illness.

Fast forward to yesterday, I decided to try the crumbles again. Lo and behold I am awake with the exact same horrible stomach pain. Luckily I have prescription meds from the last time this happened and do not need to go back to the ER.

The crumbles were the ONLY common denominator between the last stomach ache and this one. I believe this product has caused me debilitating stomach pain that has taken days to go away.

Has anyone ever experienced something like this with the crumbles? And new buyers… maybe beware.

pic of the LOT and product

EDIT 6/17: Unfortunately a few hours after making this post I also came down with a fever of 101.8 that lasted over 12 hours despite me taking an NSAID. I also had severe muscle cramps and have been experiencing dark urine for 2+ days. I will be going to a doctor tomorrow for lab tests, just in case.

Thank you THANK YOU to those of you who have reached out letting me know about your situations. I have been majorly concerned about my health the last three weeks and this has been incredibly validating for me as I know it has been for a lot of you.

Recently, a number of posts on Reddit have questioned whether “Revive Superfoods Smoothies have been linked to liver issues sickness extreme stomach pain”  See: https://www.reddit.com/r/revivesuperfoods/comments/voglbs/revive_superfoods_smoothies_liver_issues_sickness/?utm_medium=android_app&utm_source=share

One of the ingredients is also Tara.

Here are the two Reddit posts:

MY STORY ABOUT REVIVE SUPERFOODS AND LIVER ISSUES

After hearing the Daily Harvest Lentil crumbles story I was shocked. I went through the exact same thing. In March I drank multiple Revive Superfoods smoothies in a week. I began to experience nausea which led to the worst pain of my life to the point where an ambulance was called. I was rushed to the hospital screaming in pain and was given fentanyl because of how extreme this pain was. I was given a cat scan and told that my liver looked terrible and that I was in liver failure. My liver and gaulbladder were inflamed and had fluid around them. I was in complete shock as I am a healthy woman in my 20s. They were seriously discussing a liver transplant. My liver enzymes were out of this world 400 500 600s. ALT and AST. Billyrubin was elevated at points. It was a mess. I thought I was going to die. I was discharged after 4 nights because they didn’t know what was wrong with me and why my liver enzymes were elevated. I had to go back to the hospital again a couple days later due to more pain and was in there for another 5 nights and had a liver biopsy. Then the Month of April went by and I took it very easy as no one had any idea what was wrong with me. I then began little workouts again in May and drank some revive superfoods smoothies. I felt sick again with this dull back ache and stomach pains and I had a 102 degree fever. Sure enough when I got back to the hospital, my liver enzymes were climbing again. I had to get an endoscopy, and even after I was released I had to go back AGAIN because of the pain. At this point they gave me oxy to take home because they had no idea why I had these issues and they wanted me to be able to manage the pain. I missed a lot of work due to this. I missed months because I could not work consistently. I went through so much emotional and physical pain, I am still not living a normal life because of this. I could hardly walk. I was so fatigued and still experience this fatigue. Until the Daily Harvest story came out I thought I was alone. It never crossed my mind that a food could have done this to my body. Much less a food that was supposed to be healthy. If anyone else has had this happen with Revive Superfoods please share your story so that we can raise awareness

____

The same exact thing happened to me! I’m based in Dubai and they recently expanded into the market here. I started consuming Revive Superfoods smoothies at the end of March and had 3 separate episodes of elevated liver enzymes (ALT & AST hitting the 700s / 800s; normal range is 30-32), jaundice, elevated bilirubin, fever, dark urine, severe abdominal pain, enlarged/inflamed liver and swollen abdomen. I was hospitalized for 4 days in April but discharged when all the viral, bacterial and parasite tests came back negative. My liver enzymes started normalizing (but were still very elevated) so they asked me to come back for weekly testing to track progress.

This affected the way I live my life and what I consume. I spent countless of hours in and out of doctors offices after being hospitalized to run several tests. The doctors were still unable to conclude a reason for my illness so I’ve been really careful with what I’m eating to be safe. As a result of my illness I’ve also had other health complications which I won’t get into as it’s pretty private (but devastating nonetheless).

I began suspecting RS smoothies so stopped consuming them completely towards the end of May. The last day I had a smoothie was 20 May and I had a liver episode the same night. The specific smoothie that caused my most recent episode was Mango & Pineapple: https://revivesuperfoods.ae/smoothies/mango-pineapple/

Now that the DH news is out, I finally connected the dots. It’s scary that so many people went through exactly the same experience I did and still don’t have answers.

Both DH lentil + leek crumbles and the RS smoothie I had share the same ingredient: Tara Protein.

I want to spread awareness about this to help others avoid what I’ve been through. It was horrible and I wouldn’t wish it on anybody.

Interestingly, Revive just recalled products in Canada due to Norovirus – which would not account for the illnesses described.

So, the question remains – who supplied the Tara and what is the likely contaminate or toxin is causing the illnesses? What say you FDA, Daily Harvest and Revive?

According to www.silvateam.com, Tara is:

Natural ingredient from Peru

A wide range of hydrocolloids and stabilizers are used in the food and beverage industry to perform a range of technological functions and offer innovative products answering to consumer’s needs.
Tara gum is a natural additive, obtained by grinding the endosperm of the seeds of Caesalpinia spinosa, of the Leguminosae family. Tara gum, also called Peruvian carob, is a white to yellowish powder which is soluble in hot water and partially soluble in cold water.

Chemically, tara gum is comprised of polysaccharides, mainly galactomannans, of high molecular weight.

Tara gum is approved as a food additive by the Food Chemicals Codex and functions mainly as a thickener and stabilizer.

Nature from South America

Caesalpinia spinosa is a shrub or tree that can reach a height of 8 meters with spreading, grey-barked leafy branches. The leaves are compound, bipinnate, alternate and spirally organized and reach a length of 35 cm. The fruit is a flat oblong indehiscent reddish pod which contains 4 ~ 7 large round black seeds composed of endosperm (22% by weight), germ (40%) and hull (38%).

The tara tree is native to the Cordillera region of Peru and Bolivia in South America, where the fruit grows from April to December. Tara trees grow at up to 3,000 meters above sea level and tolerate dry climates and poor soils including those high in sand and rocks. The tree is also resistant to most pathogens and pests. Mature pods are usually harvested by hand and typically sun dried before processing.

Revive Organics Inc. is recalling certain smoothie and oat products from the marketplace because of possible norovirus contamination of the raspberries used in these products.

This recall was triggered by Canadian Food Inspection Agency test results.

The recalled products have been sold nationally in Canada and online.

Recalled products:

BrandProductSizeUPCCodes
Revive SuperfoodsAçaí Twist Smoothie201 g8 54681 00005 32022-10-112022-10-192022-10-202022-11-062022-11-092022-11-12
Revive SuperfoodsBerry Blü Smoothie194 g8 54681 00009 12022-10-132022-10-202022-10-212022-10-272022-11-042022-11-10
Revive SuperfoodsBerry Patch Oats176 g8 54681 00012 12022-10-202022-10-272022-11-03
Revive SuperfoodsCoconut Cream Smoothie190 g8 54681 00016 92022-10-132022-10-192022-10-272022-11-052022-11-12
Revive SuperfoodsHeart Beet Smoothie207 g8 53267 00112 52022-10-072022-10-132022-10-202022-11-03
Revive SuperfoodsRaspberry & Mango Smoothie188 g8 54681 00026 82022-10-132022-10-202022-10-272022-11-022022-11-032022-11-10
Revive SuperfoodsStrawberry ZenSmoothie222 g8 54681 00003 92022-10-122022-10-202022-10-212022-10-222022-11-032022-11-12
List of ingredients above – includes Tara

Key Facts

Total Adverse Illness Events: 133
Hospitalizations: 42
Deaths: 0
Last illness onset: June 21, 2022
States with Adverse Illness Events: Illnesses have been reported in California, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Iowa, Indiana, Maine, Maryland, Michigan, Missouri, Montana, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, Washington state and Wisconsin.
Product Distribution: Nationwide

The FDA, along with CDC and state and local partners, is investigating consumer complaints of gastrointestinal illness and abnormal liver function that may be attributable to eating Daily Harvest French Lentil & Leek Crumbles frozen product.

On June 17, 2022, in response to consumer complaints submitted to the company, Daily Harvest voluntarily initiated a recall of their French Lentil & Leek Crumbles. In response to Consumer Adverse Event Reports (CAERS) and Consumer Complaints submitted to the FDA, the FDA has initiated an investigation, including an inspection and sample collection in an effort to determine the cause of illnesses. As of June 28, the FDA has received 133 CAERS reports and Consumer Complaints related to this product.

From April 28 to June 17, 2022, approximately 28,000 units of the recalled product were distributed to consumers in the continental United States through online sales and direct delivery, as well as through retail sales at the Daily Harvest store in Chicago, IL, and a “pop-up” store in Los Angeles, CA. Samples were also provided to a small number of consumers.

Daily Harvest emailed consumers who were shipped the affected product, and other consumers for whom the company had contact information and consumers were issued a credit for the recalled product. Consumers who may still have the recalled product in their freezers should immediately dispose of it.

FDA’s investigation is ongoing, and more information will be provided as it becomes available.

Consumers should not eat, sell, or serve recalled products. Consumers who may still have the recalled product in their freezers should throw it away.

Product was sold through online sales and in two retail locations; the Daily Harvest store in Chicago, IL, and a “pop-up” store in Los Angeles, CA. French Lentil + Leek Crumbles is a frozen product packaged in a 12oz white pouch with the words “Daily Harvest” at the top, a large “CRUMBLES” immediately below the top and the words “French Lentil + Leek” in bold, as shown below. All lot codes of the French Lentil + Leek Crumbles are affected. At this time, no other Daily Harvest products are affected or part of this recall.

If you experience symptoms including yellowing of the skin and eyes (jaundice), dark urine, itching with no rash, gastrointestinal illness, nausea, fatigue, body aches, severe abdominal pain and/or fever after consuming this product, please consult with your healthcare provider. Let your healthcare provider know you have recently consumed the recalled Daily Harvest French Lentil & Leek Crumbles. Healthcare providers should report these illnesses to their health department.

Although the FDA does not out Daily Harvest by name, over the last week I have directed over 100 people to report their illnesses to the FDA. Of note is that a recall was initiated and the only frozen food recall in the last week has been the Daily Harvest French Lentil + Leek Crumbles.

Since this outbreak broke (thanks to social media – TikTok, Instagram, Twitter and various online platforms – Reddit), we have been contacted and retained by over 125 people – mainly women between the ages of 25-45. They are all active, health conscious and sick with nearly identical symptoms of acute liver failure. Collectively, their liver function tests were extremely elevated. Some have dropped and some have not. At lease 20 people have endured their gall bladder being removed. All are worried about the long-term impacts on their health by an ingredient causing the illness, that to date has not been determined after extensive blood work, imaging and live biopsies.

Thankfully, many of the people did not take Daily Harvest’s advice and throw the product out. We are in the process of gather leftover product – about 40 opened and unopened bags – and having it tested for a broad range of toxins and chemicals. Hopefully between our tests and the testing being done by Daily Harvest and the FDA, we will figure out what is causing these illnesses, and what, if any, long-term impacts are of concern.