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Daily Harvest Meal Delivery Service recalls lentil crumbs after customers report gastrointestinal emergencies

A popular meal delivery service has recalled a lentil-based grocery product after days of customers posting online about gastrointestinal issues they faced after eating the French meal of lentils and leek crumbles. Daily Harvest, the trendy brand that sells the product, is known for its influencer sponsorships and is on par with services like Blue Apron and Hello Fresh.

Daily Harvest posted a recall statement on its website on Sunday. NBC News looked at an email sent out on Friday, which urged a customer to throw away the lenses “as a precaution” and offered a $10 credit for every bag of the product purchased.

“A small number of customers have reported gastrointestinal discomfort after consuming our French lentil and leek crumbles,” the email reads. “Lentils must be thoroughly cooked to an internal temperature of 165°F according to our cooking instructions.”

In its recall statement, Daily Harvest wrote that it “has initiated an investigation with internal and external experts across our supply chain and in accordance with regulatory procedures”.

Daily Harvest customers have taken to social media to report being hospitalized and experiencing severe stomach pains. Luke Tashie, who shared his Daily Harvest recall email, said in an email that he doesn’t think the company is taking the situation seriously or fast enough. Tashie, who wrote that he experienced “extreme liver pain” and was hospitalized after consuming the product, said he was concerned about long-term liver damage.

“The surgeons who consulted me were so baffled that they seriously considered removing my gallbladder,” Tashie wrote.

Liza Torborg, communications director at the Mayo Clinic, wrote in 2018 that the protein in raw lentils, which can have adverse health effects, would have to be eaten in large amounts outside of a regular diet to be a cause for concern. She also wrote that the protein lectin breaks down when processed and cooked.

Dozens of customer testimonials similar to Tashie’s have been published on a Daily Harvest Reddit page and in Instagram comments on the Daily Harvest account, which has over 600,000 followers and was responding to customer complaints about the product as early as Wednesday. The company did not respond to requests for comment on the timing of its official response.