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Daily Harvest recalls lentil crumbles after customers report severe liver illness

Customers who ate the French Lentil + Leek Crumbles say Daily Harvest didn’t act quickly enough to recall the product.
Daily Harvest's Crumbles products. The French Lentil + Leek variety was recalled.
Daily Harvest's Crumbles products. The French Lentil + Leek variety was recalled.Daily Harvest
/ Source: NBC News

A popular meal delivery service has recalled a lentil-based food product after days of customers posting online about gastrointestinal issues they faced after they ate the French Lentil + Leek Crumbles meal. Daily Harvest, the trendy brand that sells the product, is known for its influencer sponsorships and is comparable to services like Blue Apron and Hello Fresh.

Daily Harvest posted a recall statement on its website Sunday. NBC News viewed an email it sent Friday asking a customer to throw away the lentils “out of an abundance of caution” and offering a $10 credit for every bag of the product that was purchased. 

“A small number of customers have reported gastrointestinal discomfort after consuming our French Lentil + Leek Crumbles,” the email said. “As included in our cooking instructions, lentils must be thoroughly cooked to an internal temperature of 165°F.”

In its recall statement, Daily Harvest wrote that it “launched an investigation with internal and external experts throughout our supply chain and in accordance with regulatory procedures.” 

Daily Harvest's French Lentil + Leek Crumbles.
Daily Harvest's French Lentil + Leek Crumbles.Daily Harvest

On social media, Daily Harvest customers have posted about being hospitalized and having severe stomach pains. Luke Tashie, who shared his recall email from Daily Harvest, said in an email that he doesn’t believe the company is taking a serious or speedy enough approach to the situation. Tashie, who wrote that he had “extreme liver pain” and was hospitalized after he consumed the product, said he is concerned about long-term liver damage.

“The surgeons that consulted with me were so perplexed that they seriously considered removing my gallbladder,” Tashie wrote.

Liza Torborg, a communications director for the Mayo Clinic, wrote in 2018 that the protein in raw lentils that can cause negative health effects would have to be eaten in large quantities outside a normal diet to be a concern. She also wrote that the protein, lectin, breaks down when it is processed and cooked. 

Dozens of customer testimonies similar to Tashie’s have been posted on a Daily Harvest Reddit page and in Instagram comments on Daily Harvest’s account, which has over 600,000 followers and was responding to customer complaints about the product as early as Wednesday. The company didn’t respond to requests for comment about the timeline of its official response.

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