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Urgent warning: Produce at 11 stores may be contaminated with human waste

Published Oct 5th, 2022 8:20AM EDT
Assortment of fresh colorful organic vegetables on wooden pine table.
Image: Liliya Trott/Adobe

People in Michigan might have certain Kuntry Gardens fruits and vegetables in their pantries or refrigerators. These products might be contaminated with untreated human waste, posing a health hazard to buyers. Health authorities issued a consumer advisory for these products, warning consumers not to eat them. It’s not quite a recall for Kuntry Gardens products, but it should be treated as one.

Kuntry Gardens fruits and vegetables recall

Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (MDARD) issued a consumer advisory this week concerning the Kuntry Gardens. The press release is available at this link.

The advisory concerns produce or products containing produce from Kuntry Gardens of Homer, Michigan. These products might contain raw, untreated human waste.

MDARD explains that one of its routine produce safety inspections found Kuntry Gardens using raw, untreated human waste on the fields where it was growing produce. The agency explains that the “use of raw, untreated, human waste for growing commodities intended for human food is a violation of the Michigan Food Law, PA 92 of 2000, as well as other state and federal laws and regulations.”

While there’s no recall in place for the Kuntry Gardens products, people should treat this warning in the exact same manner. MDARD has placed the product on the farm under seizure. It’s currently working with the company to oversee disposition and corrective action.

The farm sold its products at the following locations:

  • Kuntry Gardens, 29910 R Dr South, Homer
  • Busch’s Fresh Food Market stores located in Ann Arbor, Brighton, Canton, Clinton, Dexter, Farmington Hills, Livonia, Novi, Pinckney, Plymouth-Northville, Rochester Hills, Saline, South Lyon, Tecumseh, and West Bloomfield
  • Simply Fresh Market, 7300 Grand River Rd, Brighton
  • White Lotus, 7217 W Liberty Rd, Ann Arbor
  • Argus Farm Stop, 325 W Liberty Street, Ann Arbor
  • Agricole Farm Stop, 118 N Main Street, Chelsea
  • Pure Pastures, 1192 Ann Arbor Rd, Plymouth
  • Ypsi Coop, 312 North River Street, Ypsilanti
  • Greener Pastures Market, 21202 Pontiac Trail, South Lyon
  • Holiday Market, 520 S Lilley Rd, Canton
  • Cherry Capitol, Traverse City

The advisory did not list a specific set of Kuntry Gardens products. Also, it didn’t include any product imagery.

Why human waste is dangerous

MDARD explains that it has received no reports of illness to date. But customers who purchased fruits and vegetables from Kuntry Gardens risk developing symptoms like nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, jaundice (yellowing of the skin), fever, abdominal cramps, loss of appetite, weakness, and headache.

Human waste and other body fluids that are not treated professionally can spread dangerous infections. Consumers can develop hepatitis A, Clostridium difficile, E Coli, rotavirus, or norovirus.

What you should do

MDARD advises customers not to eat any Kuntry Gardens products in this recall-like action. Instead, people can contact the farm or facility where they purchased the goods. They’ll receive instructions about disposal and refunds.

Contact information for MDARD is available in the consumer advisory at this link.

Finally, customers who ate fruits and vegetables from Kuntry Gardens and are worried about potential adverse reactions should contact their doctors.

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 closely follows the events in 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.