- Meal delivery brand Daily Harvest posted a recall notice June 19 about its lentil crumbles product.
- Customers on social media had been reporting pain, liver problems, and fever after eating the lentils.
- One woman said she was hospitalized and has lingering symptoms, and many shared similar stories of severe reactions.
Meal delivery service Daily Harvest has received at least 470 reports of “illness or adverse reactions” connected to a batch of lentils from the company, according to a press release. Some customers have reported serious symptoms, according to social media, and several told Insider they have had lasting health consequences from the product.
31-year-old Houston resident Sofie, who asked that her full name not be used for privacy reasons, told Insider she ate the lentils May 28, and for the following week experienced abdominal pain and bloating.
By June 5, she said the pain had worsened and she developed a fever, so she went to the doctor the next day for blood testing. Then, she broke out in itchy, full body hives.
She said doctors called her back in to say testing found abnormally high levels of liver enzymes, which can indicate organ damage, and told her to go to the emergency room.
“I was there for several hours as they ran all kinds of tests. They could not find the cause and were puzzled,” Sofie said.
She was sent home with ongoing pain and fatigue, and no answers, until Daily Harvest posted a recall notice June 19. Shortly after, the company updated its social media posts with a “link in bio” message leading to the notice. The message disclosed that customers had reported adverse effects like gastrointestinal issues and the company was urging people to dispose of the lentils and not eat them.
At that point, Sofie made the connection, and said her doctors now suspect she experienced liver damage related to the lentils. She said she’s awaiting further test results to know how best to treat it.
People on social media have said they fell ill after eating Daily Harvest lentils
Sofie isn’t alone in experiencing health issues after eating Daily Harvest lentils. Other people on social media sites like Reddit and Twitter have reported strikingly similar symptoms after eating the same product. Severe stomach pain, itching, dark urine, fatigue, and elevated levels of liver enzymes have been reported, and many shared stories about repeat hospital trips, extensive testing, and confusion from doctors. In some cases, people have reported serious medical procedures, including surgeries.
Social media influencers have also been reported becoming ill after eating the lentils sent in PR packages from Daily Harvest.
In a social media post, Luke Wesley Pearson, a vegan health and lifestyle influencer, said he was hospitalized with severe abdominal pain and had to have his gallbladder removed after eating the crumbles.
“I had to have an organ removed. My life is changed forever by this,” he said on Instagram.
Several posters said they had submitted samples of the product to the FDA to be tested for toxins, and are waiting for results.
Daily Harvest said in a statement to Insider that the company “took immediate steps” to address the issue, and noted in the press release that they are “working closely with the FDA and with multiple independent labs” to investigate.
Sofie said she continues to have symptoms of fatigue and liver pain weeks after eating the lentils.
Prior to the illness, she said she was extremely health-conscious, ran three miles a day, avoided alcohol, and didn’t take any medications. Now, weeks later, she said she struggles to walk down stairs without needing to lie down.
“What’s the most ironic thing is that most of us are ‘health freaks’ who trusted Daily Harvest and bought this ‘healthy’ food,” she said. “It has cost me so much pain, time, emotional distress, money for medical treatment and tests, and I am terrified if I’ll have permanent liver damage from this.”