Oregon Food Bank warns: Chia seeds may have rodent droppings

No known illnesses at this time

PORTLAND: - Oregon Food Bank of Portland said Monday it has initiated a Class II recall of 22,201 pounds of chia seeds, which were donated to the food bank and distributed across the state. It said the product may be contaminated with rodent droppings.

"While no known illnesses have been associated with this product, use or consumption may present a health hazard to consumers," the announcement said.

The chia seeds were distributed in Oregon and Clark County, Washington through the Oregon Food Bank Network of regional food banks and participating food pantries. The product was distributed in one pound plastic poly film bags with a twist-type closure or a re-sealable pouch. All chia seeds distributed in the described packaging between November 1, 2017 and March 9, 2018 are included.

Consumers should dispose of the product immediately and can get additional information by contacting the food pantry where they received the product or from Oregon Food Bank's Facilities and Regulatory Compliance Manager Ryan Wist at 403-419-4160.

Anyone who has consumed these chia seeds and is experiencing symptoms of food borne illness should consult with their primary physician or county health department, the food bank said.

The issue was discovered through investigation of a customer complaint regarding foreign material. Product which was still in inventory at Oregon Food Bank was determined to contain rodent droppings.

A subsequent investigation indicates the chia seeds were observed to have evidence of rodent activity by the donor, Live Local Organic of Milwaukie, Oregon. The recall was initiated after it was determined all chia seeds received in this donation might be at risk.

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