Lee’s Teas Recall Over Possible Salmonella Contamination, Links to Previous Tea Recall

By Margaret Wollensak, The Epoch Times
March 28, 2019 Updated: March 29, 2019

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) issued a moderate risk food recall on March 27 warning for Lee’s Tea brand teas due to possible Salmonella contamination, which they say is linked to another tea recall from last week.

Lee’s Provisions is recalling its Lee’s Tea brand teas from the marketplace due to possible Salmonella contamination. The Toronto-based company specializes in ghee and tea. The CFIA says the issue was identified during a food safety investigation and the product has been distributed across Canada.

Consumers should not consume the following recalled products:

  • Lee’s Tea Gold Rush Loose Leaf, organic tulsi tea blend with turmeric, in 110-gram (3.9 oz) and 105-gram (3.7 oz) quantities
The Canadian Food Inspection Agency issued a Class 2 food recall warning for Lee’s Tea gold rush loose leaf tea on March 27, 2019. (CFIA)
  • Lee’s Tea Mint Chill Loose Leaf, organic tulsi tea blend in mint, in 70-gram (2.5 oz) and 60-gram (2.1 oz) quantities
The Canadian Food Inspection Agency issued a Class 2 food recall warning for Lee’s Tea mint chill loose leaf tea on March 27, 2019. (CFIA)
  • Lee’s Tea Original Loose Leaf, organic three tulsi tea blend, in 60-gram (2.1 oz) and 50-gram (1.8 oz) quantities
The Canadian Food Inspection Agency issued a Class 2 food recall warning for Lee’s Tea original loose leaf tea on March 27, 2019. (CFIA)
  • Lee’s Tea Pink Chai Loose Leaf, organic spiced tulsi tea blend, in 90-gram (3.2 oz) or 30-gram (1 oz) quantities
The Canadian Food Inspection Agency issued a Class 2 food recall warning for Lee’s Tea pink chai loose leaf tea, 90-grams, on March 27, 2019. (CFIA)
The Canadian Food Inspection Agency issued a Class 2 food recall warning for Lee’s Tea pink chai loose leaf tea, 30-grams, on March 27, 2019. (CFIA)

The CFIA has given the recall a class 2 warning, meaning there is a moderate level risk if the tea is consumed, and the chance of serious or life-threatening health symptoms is low. Recalled Lee’s teas should be thrown out or returned to the store where they were purchased, and the federal agency is verifying that the industry is removing the recalled products.

According to the CFIA, this recall is related to the Organic Matters brand tea recalls from a week ago, where a number of teas were given a class 2 warning due to possible Salmonella contamination. The agency says the two recalls are related because some of the recalled tea is re-packaged in other tea brands.

That recall referred to Organic Matters’ organic tulsi tea blend (holy basil) and OM tea blends, which are distributed in British Columbia and possibly other parts of Canada. Both teas were distributed in 113-gram (4 oz) and 454-gram (16 oz) packages, while the tulsi tea blend was also distributed in one-kilogram (2.2 pound) packs.

The recall of the Organic Matters teas was triggered by inspection activities and there have been no reported illnesses associated with the tea’s consumption.

A food recall warning has been issued by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency for Organic Matters holy basil organic tulsi tea blend on March 21, 2019. (CFIA)
A food recall warning has been issued by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency for Organic Matters OM tea blend on March 21, 2019. (CFIA)

Risks of Salmonella

Food contaminated with Salmonella “may not look or smell spoiled but can still make you sick” the CFIA warns. Healthy people may experience short-term symptoms like fever, headache, vomiting, nausea, abdominal cramps, and diarrhea. Long-term complications may include severe arthritis. Young children, pregnant women, the elderly, and people with weakened immune systems may contract serious and sometimes deadly infections.

The CFIA says consumers who believe they have become sick from consuming a recalled product should call their doctor.

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