Recalled Walmart Room Spray Linked to Two Deaths

The CDC confirms the Better Homes & Gardens Essential Oil Infused Aromatherapy Room Spray with Gemstone contains a bacteria that matches the same bacterial strains in four patients infected since March.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has confirmed the bacteria found in the recently recalled Better Homes & Gardens Essential Oil Infused Aromatherapy Room Spray with Gemstones is linked to two deaths and two illnesses in Georgia, Kansas, Minnesota, and Texas since March. After samples were gathered from the homes of the positive melioidosis cases, a sample from a bottle in the home of the Georgia victim has been confirmed to be a genetic match to the bacterial strains in the patient.

bhg gemstone room spray lavender and chamomile, lime & eucalyptus and peppermint on purple background with recall stamp
Courtesy of the CDC

In accordance with the CDC's guidance, Walmart is urging all customers who purchased the spray since it launched in February 2021 to stop using it immediately and return it to a Walmart Store in a double-bagged, clear zip-top resealable bag and placed in a small cardboard box. Do not dispose of it in the trash or pour the contents down a drain. In exchange for the return, the retailer will provide a full refund and offer an additional $20 gift card. Walmart has emailed all customers who purchased the item online and more than 2,000 customers who purchased the product in stores. The company is also sending letters to another 263 customers with no email address on file and placing calls to the small number of customers with no available email or physical address on file.

On Friday, October 22, Walmart issued a recall including approximately 3,900 bottles of the room sprays due to the possible presence of Burkholderia pseudomallei, a bacteria that causes melioidosis. Melioidosis, also known as Whitmore's disease, is a rare but serious disease in the United States. Annually, about 12 cases are reported worldwide, and most cases are in people who live in or have traveled to where the bacteria naturally occurs including parts of South and Southeast Asia and northern Australia. The product was manufactured in India by Flora Classique Inc. and sold under the Better Homes & Gardens brand at Walmart stores and from February to October 2021.

Sold in about 55 stores in 18 states and retailing for about $4 a bottle, the now-discontinued product was available in the six scents below:

  • 84140411420 Better Homes and Gardens (BHG) Gem Room Spray Lavender & Chamomile
  • 84140411421 Better Homes and Gardens (BHG) Gem Room Spray Lemon and Mandarin
  • 84140411422 Better Homes and Gardens (BHG) Gem Room Spray Lavender
  • 84140411423 Better Homes and Gardens (BHG) Gem Room Spray Peppermint
  • 84140411424 Better Homes and Gardens (BHG) Gem Room Spray Lime & Eucalyptus
  • 84140411425 Better Homes and Gardens (BHG) Gem Room Spray Sandalwood and Vanilla

Symptoms of melioidosis include fever, cough, chest pain, headache, respiratory distress, brain infections, seizures, and more. If you have used the product within the last 21 days and experienced any of the symptoms of melioidosis, the CDC urges you to seek immediate medical care and notify your doctor about product exposure.

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