Walmart recalls aromatherapy spray due to rare, dangerous bacteria concerns

The spray was sold at approximately 55 Walmart stores nationwide, online at Walmart.com between February and October for about $4

Walmart is recalling approximately 3,900 bottles of Better Homes and Gardens' essential oil infused aromatherapy spray with gemstones due to the possible presence of a rare and dangerous bacteria. 

"The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) tested a version of the product and determined that it contained the dangerous bacteria Burkholderia pseudomallei which causes melioidosis," a Friday recall notice from the Consumer Product Safety Commission stated. 

The discovery came during an investigation of four confirmed melioidosis cases reported in Kansas, Minnesota, Texas and Georgia. Two of the cases resulted in death, including one child fatality. Though the source of the infections have not been confirmed by the CDC, the bacteria was found in a sample taken from a bottle of the Better Homes and Gardens Lavender & Chamomile aromatherapy room spray in the home of the Georgia victim.

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A Walmart spokesperson told FOX Business that it is "committed to providing safe, high-quality products to our customers" and will continue to assist the CDC in its investigation.

"We are deeply concerned that there may be a connection between this product and this rare bacteria," the spokesperson added. "Our sympathies and concerns are with the four families that have been impacted."  

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The aromatherapy room spray, which was manufactured by Flora Classique Inc. and made in India, was sold at about 55 Walmart stores nationwide and online at Walmart.com between February and October 2021 for about $4. Following notification from the CPSC and CDC, Walmart said it pulled the product from shelves and put a register block in place at its stores to prevent any further sales. 

The 5-ounce glass bottles, which include the printed label "Better Homes and Gardens Aromatherapy," were sold with a pump spray nozzle in the following scents:

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

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Consistent with CDC recommendations, consumers should immediately stop using the recalled room spray, double bag the bottle in clean, clear zip-top resealable bags, place it in a small cardboard box and return it to any Walmart store for a full refund. Consumers should not attempt to open, throw away or dispose of the bottle. Walmart customers who return the recalled product will be given a full refund and a $20 gift card.  

Sheets and linens that have been sprayed with the product should be washed with normal laundry detergent and dried completely in a hot dryer. Bleach may also be used to ensure the sheets and linens are clean and safe to use. In addition, counters and surfaces that may have been exposed to the spray should be wiped down using an undiluted disinfectant cleaner. Consumers should minimize handling of the product and wash their hands thoroughly after handling the bottle and the sheets and linens.

Individuals who have used the product within the last 21 days and experience melioidosis symptoms should seek medical care and tell their doctor about the product exposure. Doctors may recommend antibiotics to prevent infection. 

According to the CDC, symptoms for localized melioidosis infections include localized pain or swelling, fever, ulceration, or an abscess. Pulmonary melioidosis infection symptoms can include cough, chest pain, high fever, headache and anorexia, while bloodstream melioidosis infection symptoms include fever, headache, respiratory distress, abdominal discomfort, joint pain, and disorientation. A disseminated infection's symptoms can include fever, weight loss, stomach or chest pain, muscle or join pain, headache, central nervous system or brain infection, and seizures. Symptoms generally appear two to four weeks after exposure.