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Natural food company's powders, mixes recalled over salmonella fears

This colorized scanning electron micrograph (SEM) depicts a colony of rod-shaped salmonella bacteria
This colorized scanning electron micrograph (SEM) depicts a colony of rod-shaped salmonella bacteria
Janice Haney Carr, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Health officials are warning people not to eat some of the powders and smoothie mixes produced by a Northern California natural food company because the products may be contaminated with a bacteria that can make people very ill.

The California Department of Public Health says three powders and mixes made by Novato-based Navitas Naturals may contain salmonella, a bacteria associated with food poisoning.

CDPH director Ron Chapman says 12 people across the country have become sick with the same rare strain of salmonella after eating the company’s products sold under the names Navitas Naturals Organic Sprouted Chia Powder, Navitas Naturals Omega Blend Sprouted Smoothie Mix, and Williams-Sonoma Omega 3 Smoothie Mixer.

All three brands were sold nationally through retail grocery stores, natural food markets, and over the Internet.

Officials say two people in Southern California have become sick after eating the products, while one person -- in a state outside of California -- has been hospitalized. No deaths have been reported.

Officials with the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention say besides the two people in California, four people in New York, two people in Wisconsin, and one person each in Arizona, Connecticut, Massachusetts and Utah have become ill.

Symptoms of salmonella infection include fever, abdominal cramps and diarrhea. Most infected people recover within a week, but some people may require hospitalization.

Infants, the elderly and people with weakened immune systems are at the highest risk of becoming extremely sick.

The CDC says it has tracked the illnesses back to late January, with the ages of the people getting sick ranging from 4-years-old to 71.

Navitas -- which dubs itself on its website as “The Superfood Company -- has initiated a voluntary recall of its three products.

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