Daily Harvest Meal Service Obeys FDA Following Recall and Disease Claims

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Daily Harvest, a home-delivery vegan frozen food service said to be good for consumers and the environment, is grappling with allegations that one of its products has made people sick. The celebrity-backed company is “working with a group of experts to help us get to the bottom of this” after customers complained they had stomach, liver and gallbladder problems after eating their French leeks -Lentil crumble and enlisted the food and Drug Administration, “microbiologists, toxin and pathogen experts, and allergists” to identify problems, according to a note to customers posted on Instagram Wednesday.

“All pathogen and toxicology results have been negative to date, but we continue to conduct extensive testing and will update you,” the company wrote in the post.

The company said Sunday it advised anyone who bought the product — a mix containing lentils, butternut squash, quinoa, hemp seed and cremini mushrooms and marketed as a plant-based crunchy topping — to discard it.

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The move followed reports on social media by people who said they ate the crumble and subsequently experienced a number of serious-sounding symptoms, including extreme nausea, cramps, fever, body itching and signs of liver problems. On Wednesday, Daily Harvest said in its Instagram post that it has been in contact with “customers who have reported side effects and are collecting data to advance the investigation.”

A Daily Harvest representative did not respond to a question about how much of the product had been distributed, referring The Post to the wording in the released statement. An email from an FDA spokesman says the agency can neither confirm nor deny an investigation that does not appear on its public list of outbreaks (which does not include Daily Harvest). “Depending on the severity of the issue, an FDA investigator may visit the individual who made the complaint, collect product samples, and initiate inspections,” the spokesman wrote.

Founded in 2015 and attracting influencers and reportedly celebrity investors including Serena Williams, Gwyneth Paltrow, Shaun White and Bobby Flay, the company has asserted itself as a supplier of sustainably harvested food. “Daily Harvest is dedicated to making it really easy to eat more fruit and veg every day,” says the company’s website, which offers a variety of frozen bowls, smoothies and flatbreads. “From seed to plate, we are committed to a better food system that prioritizes the health of people and the planet.”

Customers have expressed frustration with the way the company has handled the issue. Daily Harvest included updates to several Instagram promo posts, including a link to “an important piece of news regarding our French lentil and leek crumbles.” Commentators complained that the company wasn’t more open about the potential issues, flooding its posts with barbs. To a post captioned “Sun’s out, spuds out” that featured a whimsical image of peeled potatoes that look like people in bathing suits, one user replied, “You know what else is out there? You’re trying to cover up the crumb contamination… Zero transparency, you’ve lost a customer for life in me!!!!”