Walmart Product Linked To Deadly Disease Recalled

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US retail giant Walmart's new shipping service is the latest move in its competiton with Amazon
US retail giant Walmart's new shipping service is the latest move in its competiton with Amazon

Walmart is recalling around 3,900 bottles of its Better Homes and Gardens Essential Oil Infused Aromatherapy Room Spray with Gemstones following two deaths linked to melioidosis.

A version of the product was discovered to be contaminated with the dangerous bacteria Burkholderia pseudomallei, which can cause the disease melioidosis, according to an announcement from the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission citing tests conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Four cases of melioidosis in Texas, Kansas, Georgia, and Minnesota, including two deaths, have been reported. Of the U.S. deaths reported, one was a child fatality.

Walmart sold the product in about 55 stores nationwide and online from February 2021 to October 2021. The five-ounce bottles, which retailed for about $4, featured a pump spray nozzle and had “Better Homes and Gardens Aromatherapy” printed on the label. 

The aromatherapy room spray comes in six different scents, lavender and chamomile, peppermint, lemon and mandarin, sandalwood and vanilla, lavender, and lime and eucalyptus.

Melioidosis doesn’t have easily recognizable signs due to its non-specific symptoms such as shortness of breath, fever, cough, and nausea. The CDC initially struggled to identify what was causing people to become infected.

“It really was a fishing expedition because we didn’t have any early clues to guide us in any direction,” Jennifer McQuiston, a CDC epidemiologist, told CNN.

“The teams really looked at personal care products, lotions, soaps, food items, vitamins -- things they might have been exposed to.”

Months after going through the items of the deceased, they managed to link Burkholderia pseudomallei to a lavender and chamomile air freshener owned by a victim in Georgia.

Those in possession of the recalled aromatherapy room spray are being advised to stop using the product immediately.

The item should not be thrown out in a regular trash can. Consumers should double bag the spray bottle in a clear bag featuring a zip-top and place it in a cardboard box. Customers can then go to Walmart to return the product for a refund. 

Customers will also receive a $20 Walmart gift card upon return.


retailer Walmart

Photo: AFP / ANDREW CABALLERO-REYNOLDS

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