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This recalled tea might be contaminated with botulism, so throw it out now

Updated Oct 5th, 2022 10:09AM EDT
Masala pulled tea chai latte in rustic clay cup.
Image: GreenArt/Adobe

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Clostridium botulinum is a dangerous, potentially fatal bacteria that can contaminate foods and drinks. When that happens, manufacturers issue recalls like the massive Lyons Magnus recall from a few months ago that triggered additional recalls. The Chai Box company has now issued a recall of its own for select products that might contain the same Clostridium bacteria. The company discovered that some of the tea drinks might have been under-processed, which contributed to the problem.

Chai Box recall

The US Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) press release covering this recall is available at this link.

The Chai Box company notes that it was notified of the contamination problem during a process review by the Georgia Department of Agriculture.

The Chai Box recall: Image showing the 16oz bottle of chai concentrate.
The Chai Box recall: Image showing the 16oz bottle of chai concentrate. Image source: FDA

The chai products listed below might have been under-processed and may contain the Clostridium bacteria as a result.

  • 16 oz glass bottles Chai Concentrate Mix, UPC 7 93611 81925 2
  • 64 oz plastic bottles of Chai Concentrate Mix UPC 7 93611 81926 9
  • 16 oz glass bottles Unsweetened Chai Concentrate Mix, UPC 793611819252
  • 64 oz plastic bottles of Unsweetened Chai Concentrate Mix UPC 793611819269

The 16oz and 64oz plastic bottles of Chai products have best-by dates between September 22nd, 2022, and March 16th, 2023. The company shipped them nationwide to consumers, retailers, and wholesalers.

The Chai Box explains that the under-processing occurred during the commercial sterilization process. That could lead to contamination by spoilage organisms or pathogens. When consumed, these pathogens can lead to life-threatening illnesses in some cases.

The Chai Box recall: Label on the 16oz chai bottle.
The Chai Box recall: Label on the 16oz chai bottle. Image source: FDA

Botulism infections

Chai Box says it has received no reports of illness associated with the products from this recall. Still, there’s a risk of contracting the bacteria if you drink any of the products above.

According to the Mayo Clinic, symptoms of foodborne botulism can appear 12 to 36 hours after consuming contaminated products.

People might experience the following symptoms:

  • Trouble swallowing or speaking
  • Dry mouth
  • Facial weakness on both sides of the face
  • Blurred or double vision
  • Drooping eyelids
  • Trouble breathing
  • Nausea, vomiting, and stomach cramps
  • Paralysis

Moreover, the illness can cause severe complications as the botulinum toxin affects muscles. One immediate severe adverse reaction is the inability to breathe, which can lead to death. Complications also include difficulty speaking, trouble swallowing, long-lasting weakness, and shortness of breath.

The Chai Box recall: Image of a 64oz chai concentrate mix.
The Chai Box recall: Image of a 64oz chai concentrate mix. Image source: FDA

What you should do

The Chai Box advises buyers to return the products in the recall to the place of purchase for a full refund or exchange.

Consumers who think they’ve experienced botulism symptoms should seek urgent care, according to the Mayo Clinic. Quick treatment will increase survival chances and lower the risks of complications.

The Chai Box customers who have additional questions about the recall can contact the company. The press release at this link contains contact information and additional images of the four products in the recall.

More recall news: This produce might include human waste so check your fridge.

Chris Smith Senior Writer

Chris Smith has been covering consumer electronics ever since the iPhone revolutionized the industry in 2008. When he’s not writing about the most recent tech news for BGR, he brings his entertainment expertise to Marvel’s Cinematic Universe and other blockbuster franchises.

Outside of work, you’ll catch him streaming almost every new movie and TV show release as soon as it's available.

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