Made in India product sold at Walmart turns out to be a major health hazard

Walmart recalls 4,000 bottles of the aromatherapy product, which has been revealed as made in India

A product that was sold at Walmart stores is turning out to be a significant health risk. The alarming situation came to light after melioidosis, a bacterial disease, was reported by four people in the US this year. Health officials who swung into action immediately after the outbreak were astonished to find that a product that was sold at Walmart was the reason behind the disease.

Further analysis linked an aromatherapy spray product that was sold under the brand name “Better Homes & Gardens Lavender & Chamomile Essential Oil Infused Aromatherapy Room Spray with Gemstones”. This product sold at Walmart tested positive for B. pseudomallei, a rare and sometimes deadly bacteria that causes melioidosis.

The revelation has forced Walmart to recall close to 4,000 bottles of the product.  The product was sold at 55 Walmart stores and on Walmart’s website between February and October 2021, as per a report that quoted Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) officials.

Recalled Walmart products made in India

Significantly, it has been found that the recalled products were made in India. The recall notice issued by Walmart mentions that the products were sold in 5-ounce glass bottles and have “Better Homes and Gardens Aromatherapy” printed on the label.

The first report of the outbreak came up in August. However, going by the nature of melioidosis, researchers had known that the Burkholderia pseudomallei bacteria that is said to be the cause, grow only in tropical climates. Common in Southeast Asia and northern Australia, the outbreak in the US was more than a puzzle for the research community. Their investigation had also revealed that the four people who contracted the disease had not travelled outside the country. Two of the patients losing their lives due to the disease added to the puzzle.

It was then that the CDC officials decided to search the houses of the four patients and they found a common thread that led them to the reason for the outbreak.

Probe on to know more about the outbreak

At one of the homes, they found bottles of Better Homes & Gardens Lavender & Chamomile Essential Oil Infused Aromatherapy Room Spray with Gemstones, which tested positive for B. pseudomallei. They found that the product was sold by Walmart. They are now looking to know whether the other three homes too had the product.

Investigations are currently on to find out whether the genetic fingerprint of the bacteria found in the aromatherapy product matches the bacteria that affected the four people.  

The CDC has also advised customers of the product to stop using it and also return them without any delay. So as to make sure that the disease doesn’t spread, they have been directed to double bag the bottle in clear zip-top bags, place the bags in a small cardboard box and return the product to the Walmart stores

Further, customers also need to make sure that they take all precautionary measures to stop the bacteria from staying on clothes or other things that are used daily.