Chia seeds recalled as FDA issues highest possible risk level

FILE - Chia seeds with a spoon. Getty Images

The Food and Drug Administration has reclassified a recall of chia seeds sold at Walmart as the highest risk of injury or death due to salmonella poisoning. 

The recall of "Great Value Organic Black Chia Seeds 32 oz." was first announced on May 13, says the FDA's website. It was reclassified to "Class I" – the highest risk level – at the end of June.

A "Class I" recall is "a situation in which there is a reasonable probability that the use of, or exposure to, a violative product will cause serious adverse health consequences or death," says the FDA's website. 


The recall extends to one lot of the chia seeds, which are sold in Walmart stores throughout the United States, said the FDA.

The impacted products have lot numbers ending "C018" along with an expiration date of Oct. 30, 2026, said a release from Natural Sourcing International, the company that produced the chia seeds for Walmart's "Great Value" brand. 

"Natural Sourcing International is initiating a voluntary recall of one lot of Great Value Organic Black Chia Seeds 32 oz. due to the potential presence of Salmonella," said Natural Sourcing International in a May 10 release. 

The release was originally published by the FDA on May 13. 


The possibly contaminated chia seeds were sold in Walmart stores in Alabama, California, Colorado, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Ohio, Texas and Wisconsin, said the FDA.

"While no adverse events associated with the products have been reported to date, products are being recalled out of an abundance of caution and because consumer safety is the company’s highest priority," said the May release from Natural Sourcing International. 

Those who bought the recalled chia seeds should throw them away, said Natural Sourcing International. The products will be replaced with proof of purchase, they said. 

FOX Business reached out to Natural Sourcing International for additional comment regarding any reported salmonella infections. 

Salmonella infection, or "salmonellosis," is "a common bacterial disease that affects the intestinal track," said the website for the Mayo Clinic. 

Salmonella bacteria live in the intestinal tracks of both humans and animals. Humans typically contract salmonella through water or food that has been contaminated by the bacteria. 

While some people who have salmonella infections do not have any symptoms, said the Mayo Clinic, most people have some sort of gastrointestinal distress, including diarrhea and stomach cramps, they said. 

"Most healthy people recover within a few days to a week without specific treatment," said the Mayo Clinic, although the risks are higher among the elderly and young children. 

Additionally, diarrhea caused by salmonella can result in dehydration, which can be life-threatening, they said. 

A person with salmonella should see a doctor if their symptoms have not improved after more than a few days, or if they are experiencing a high fever, said the Mayo Clinic. 

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