The Daily Harvest meal service recruits the FDA following recalls and medical claims

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Daily Harvest, a service that offers home deliveries of vegan frozen food that it claims is good for consumers and the environment, is struggling with claims that one of their products made people sick. The celebrity-backed company “is working with a group of experts to help us get to the bottom of this” after complaints from customers who said they had experienced stomach, liver and gallbladder problems after eating the French leek and lentil crumbs, and recruited the Food and Drug Administration, “microbiologists, toxin and pathogen experts as well as allergy sufferers” to identify any problems, it is stated in a note to customers posted on Wednesday on Instagram.

“All pathogenic and toxicological results have returned negative so far, but we continue to do extensive testing and will keep you updated,” the company wrote in the post.

The company said Sunday it had advised anyone who had bought the product – a blend that includes lentils, butternut squash, quinoa, hemp seeds and cremini mushrooms and was marketed as a crispy plant-based topping – to throw it away.

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This move followed social media reports from people who said they had eaten the crumble and then experienced a number of severe symptoms, including extreme nausea, cramps, fever, body itching and indications of liver problems. On Wednesday, Daily Harvest said in its Instagram post that they had been in contact with “customers who reported side effects and collect data to promote the investigation”.

A Daily Harvest representative did not answer a question about how much of the product had been distributed, and The Post referred to the language in the published statement. An email from an FDA spokesman said the agency could not confirm or deny an investigation that is not listed in the public outbreak list (Daily Harvest does not appear on it). “Depending on the severity of the problem, an FDA investigator may visit the person who filed the complaint, collect product samples and initiate inspections,” the spokesman wrote.

The company, which was founded in 2015 and attracted influencers and, reportedly, celebrity investors including Serena Williams, Gwyneth Paltrow, Shaun White and Bobby Flay, maintained itself as a supplier of sustainably harvested food. “Daily Harvest is on a mission to make it very easy to eat more fruits + vegetables every day,” says the company’s website, which offers a range of frozen buns, smoothies and flatbreads. “From seed to plate, we are committed to a better food system, one that prioritizes human and planetary health.”

Customers expressed frustration over the way the company handled the problem. Daily Harvest added updates to several promotional posts on Instagram and noted a link to “an important message regarding our French lenses + leek crumbs.” Commentators complained that the company was not fairer about the potential problems and flooded its posts with barbs. To a post with a whimsical picture of potatoes peeled to look like people in bathing suits, with the text “The sun is out, spud out”, a user replied: “Do you know what else is out? You’re trying to cover up crumbling pollution … Zero openness you lost a customer in me for life !!!! “

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