Daily Harvest has linked its use of tara flour to the hundreds of consumer illness reports that led the plant-based meal service to voluntarily recall all its French Lentil + Leek Crumbles last month.
“We have only used this ingredient in French Lentil + Leek Crumbles and we are no longer sourcing from this producer who does not provide any ingredients for our 140+ other items,” Daily Harvest founder and CEO Rachel Drori wrote in a Tuesday update on the company’s website.
Drori added that this instance was “the first and only time” Daily Harvest has used tara flour, “which has been available and used in the North American market as a plant-based source of protein prior to our use.”
Tara flour is produced from the seeds of tara trees native to South America, notably in the Andes Highlands of Peru. Tuesday’s announcement did not identify the specific tara flour producer that the Daily Harvest used in its French Lentil + Leek Crumbles.
Drori noted that Daily Harvest’s investigation team will continue working with the Food and Drug Administration and the tara flour producer to “help determine what specifically made people sick.”
In June:Daily Harvest meal plan service recalls French Lentil + Leek Crumbles over gastrointestinal issues
In mid-June, Daily Harvest issued a voluntary recall of all its French Lentil + Leek Crumbles. The FDA announced that the company was recalling the product due to rising customer reports of gastrointestinal illness and potential liver function issues, with about 470 reports of illness or adverse reactions by June 23.
According to the FDA, about 28,000 units of the recalled product were distributed to consumers from April 28 to June 17 – through online sales, direct delivery, a couple retail locations and a small number of samples.
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Consumers with the recalled French Lentil + Leek Crumbles were instructed to dispose of the products immediately. No other Daily Harvest product was affected, the FDA said.
USA TODAY reached out to the FDA for further comments about investigation updates and Daily Harvest’s announcement about the tara flour links on Wednesday.
Founded in 2015, New York-based Daily Harvest makes frozen fruit- and plant-based meals and smoothies that are delivered to customers’ homes, where they only have to heat or blend them before eating.
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Following its voluntarily recall of French Lentil + Leek Crumbles, Daily Harvest is facing multiple lawsuits from at least two individuals who said they had to have their gallbladders removed after consuming the product, CNN Business and NBC reported, among others.
One of the individuals who say they had to get their gallbladders removed after eating French Lentil + Leek Crumbles was Carol Ann Ready, who filed her lawsuit against Daily Harvest on June 26, according to court documents. Ready’s attorney, Bill Marler, told NBC that he was representing nearly 100 people with potential claims against the meal service company at the time.
USA TODAY reached out to Daily Harvest for a statement about the litigation on Wednesday.
Contributing: Jayme Deerwester, USA TODAY.