Walmart is recalling a limited number of bottles of aromatherapy room spray because they may contain and be linked to an uncommon bacterial infection that’s rarely seen in the United States.
The recall on Friday was announced by the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), that Walmart is recalling 3900 bottles of “Better Homes & Gardens Lavender & Chamomile Essential Oil Infused Aromatherapy Room Spray with Gemstone. The aromatherapy comes in six different scents.
The product was discovered in the home of one of the four patients, and was found to be contaminated with potentially deadly bacteria called Burkholderia pseudo mallei. Federal health officials are now testing products found in the home of the other three patients. These cases were identified in Georgia, Kansas, Minnesota and Texas and have resulted in two deaths, including a child.
The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) investigators had established that the other patients also owned the aroma-therapy spray and are now testing those products to see if the genetic fingerprint of the bacteria matches. The bacteria were found in the lavender and chamomile version of the spray, but the CPSC and Walmart are also recalling five other scents in the same product line. The product was sold at 55 Walmart stores on their website, according to the CPSC.
The CPSC has tested a version of the product and “determined that it contained the dangerous bacteria Burkholderia pseudo mallei which causes melioidosis,” the recall notice said. Patty Davis, a CPSC spokesperson, said the agency is extremely concerned about the potential for further, potentially dangerous, bacterial exposure.
“CPSC immediately reached out to Walmart to work with the company to get this product out of consumers hands,” Davis said. “We want to prevent anyone else from being sickened or from dying.” The spray came in 5-ounce glass bottles and sold in the 55 stores and online at walmart.com from February 2021 through October 2021.
In a statement to USA TODAY, Walmart spokesperson Randy Hargrove said the company will continue to assist the two federal agencies “in their investigation and are committed to providing safe, high-quality products to our customers.
“We are deeply concerned that there may be a connection between this product and this rare bacteria. Our sympathiesand concerns are with the four families that have been impacted,” Hargrove said in the statement. “We took immediate actions after federal agencies alerted us Wednesday of concerns with an aromatherapy room spray manufactured by Flora Classique Inc. and sold under the Better Homes & Gardens brand.”
Hargrove added, “Walmart pulled the products, which were made in India, and part of a program in 55 stores, and Walmart has also put a register block in place at our stores and online to prevent any further sales.”
Authorities are urging people who have the products to return them to Walmart without opening the packages or touching them otherwise.
“Though the source of these four infections has not been confirmed by the CDC, the bottle with the same type of bacteria was found in the home of one of the melioidosis decedents,” the recall notice said.
According to the CDC, most cases of melioidosis in the United States are in people who have traveled to areas where the disease is more common, but the four patients had no recent history of international travel.