Produce recall in 29 states

Hi Fellow AA members,

Carol Allen, Food Safety Specialist of the UMD shared interesting information in today’s newsletter shared with growers in Maryland. See below.

Will the Recall on Fresh Basil Impact the Local Markets?

Lovers of fresh basil were probably dismayed last week to learn that Trader Joe’s was voluntarily recalling the brand, Infinite Herbs, of organic basil due to possible Salmonella contamination. The 2.5 oz clamshell packed product had been distributed to stores in 29 states from February 1 – April 6, 2024. Currently, it is no longer found on grocery shelves and due to basil’s short shelf life, is probably no longer in consumer’s possession.

FDA map of states where the recalled organic basil was sold.

As of April 19, 2024, there had been 12 illness reported in seven of the states. One hospitalization had occurred with, fortunately, no deaths.

Growers of fresh basil may have reason to be concerned about the widely advertised recall. In a 2007 study of consumer response to the recall of fresh spinach in 2006, Rutgers University found that most consumers knew about the recall (87%), though a much lower percentage know the details, such as what kind of spinach and where it was grown. The FDA announcement of the end of the recall (September 22, 2006) was not common knowledge. Probably due to ambiguous language and scanty coverage by the press, the consumer reluctance to buy and eat fresh spinach lasted well beyond the actual impact of the outbreak.

A 2013 study by Lincoln University, New Zealand indicated the 2006 spinach foodborne illness outbreak cost the spinach industry $350 million dollars worldwide.

To counter the impact of this negative press, growers should consider following the practices and advertising their status as Good Agricultural Produce certified and following the guidelines of the Produce Safety Rule.


Hey Elshan! Thanks for sharing this interesting article about the basil recall. How do you think this might impact aquaponic growers in the area?

Hi Cori,

That is the question I would like to find answers, too. :slight_smile: