Daily Harvest says tara flour sickened hundreds of customers. What is it?
When popular frozen food delivery service Daily Harvest said this week it had identified the ingredient that had infected hundreds of customers, the response of many was simple: “What is just tara flour?”
Food safety experts said that while it’s not a household name yet, tara flour is growing in popularity as a vegetarian source of protein in vegetarian or vegan foods.
is used It’s an alternative to wheat flour and can be found in a variety of products such as shakes, cakes and biscuits, said Divya Garoni, associate professor of animal and food sciences at Oklahoma State University.
Benjamin Chapman, a professor and specialist in food safety at North Carolina State University, said the product has found a market for vegetarian or vegan foods because they can be more difficult to get enough protein.
Garrone said that tara flour is produced from the seeds of the tara trees, which are native to South America, particularly Peru.
The Daily Harvest said Tuesday it has identified tara flour as an ingredient in its French Lentil & Leek Crumbles. which has infected hundreds of people with the disease, With some reports of liver dysfunction and having to remove the gallbladder.
The Food and Drug Administration, citing complaint reports, said that as of July 14, there were 96 hospitalizations and 277 reports of illness across the country linked to Daily Harvest’s French Lentil & Leek Crumbles, citing complaint reports. The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is investigating complaints of “abnormal gastrointestinal disease and liver function” related to the frozen product.
Daily Harvest has not yet determined why tara flour makes people sick.
The possibilities could include contamination issues or a problem during the manufacturing or extraction process, Chapman said.
The Daily Harvest said Tuesday that it is no longer a source for tara flour and that the product does not provide ingredients for the rest of its ingredients.
“This was the first and only time we used tara flour, which was available and used in the North American market as a plant source of protein prior to our use,” Daily Harvest said. “Our investigation team will continue to work with the Food and Drug Administration, the producer of Altara flour, and others to help determine specifically what caused people to get sick.”
The company began a voluntary recall of the product last month after customers began complaining of illness. I mentioned some Elevated liver enzymes and hospitalization.
The company is also facing several lawsuits of people who say they got sick after eating the product. Two lawsuits were filed against the company and the product manufacturer on behalf of two babies, including a 4-month-old who was breastfeeding.
The Food and Drug Administration has not identified tara flour as a source of the problem. In a statement to NBC News on Wednesday, the agency said that it generally identifies ingredients or suppliers of ingredients “only when there is sufficient evidence linking that ingredient to disease or injury.”
The agency said it is currently collecting data and performing sample analysis on multiple components.
“This includes extensive testing of many potential adulterants, including bacterial and chemical contaminants,” the FDA said. “Analysis of samples takes a long time, and there are no guarantees that the information available to the agency will prove a definitive link between diseases and foods.”
The FDA said that investigation of an ingredient “does not imply that an ingredient, or the company that supplied the ingredient, is conclusively associated with an adverse event—the results of an investigation of an ingredient may rule out that ingredient as the cause of illness or injury.”
Sharing preliminary information about the investigation may mislead consumers “to believe that a particular ingredient was the cause of illness or disease outbreak when in fact it was later ruled out of its association with an adverse event,” the FDA said.