Daily Harvest Recalls French Lentil Crumbles Amid Reports of Serious Illness
David WatskySenior Editor / Home and Kitchen
David lives in Brooklyn where he's logged more than a decade writing about all things edible, including meal kits and meal delivery subscriptions, cooking, kitchen gear and commerce. Since earning a BA in English from Northeastern in Boston, he's toiled in nearly every aspect of the eats business from slicing and dicing as a sous-chef in Rhode Island to leading complex marketing campaigns for major food brands in Manhattan. These days, he's likely somewhere trying the latest this or tasting the latest that - and reporting back, of course. Anything with sesame is his all-time favorite food this week.
ExpertiseKitchen tech, cookware, small appliances, food innovation, meal delivery and meal kits.
Meal delivery service Daily Harvest issued a recall for a product that had reportedly made people sick -- find out more below -- but the way it appeared to obscure the news on social media angered customers looking for more clarity and quickly gained attention online.
Why it matters
Meal delivery is a booming online market that relies heavily on word of mouth and social media recommendations. Poor communications going viral makes a bad situation much worse for a brand like this.
Vegan meal delivery service Daily Harvest issued a voluntary recall this past weekend following customer complaints of stomach pain and food poisoning-like symptoms surfaced on social media. The affected food appears to be Daily Harvest's French Lentil and Leek Crumbles, one of the brand's newer offerings.
Ailments related to the lentil dish were reported on Reddit and other social media platforms and range from an "upset stomach and vomiting" to "extreme fatigue, dark urine, low-grade fever and whole-body itching with no rash."
Daily Harvest initially reached out to CNET directly in an email. The statement read, "We have received customer reports of gastrointestinal issues after consuming French Lentil and Leek Crumbles. Out of an abundance of caution, please dispose of any French Lentil and Leek Crumbles and do not eat them."
A public statement from Daily Harvest was posted on Sunday. It was updated with new information on Wednesday when the brand reported that "all pathogen and toxicology results have come back negative so far, but we're continuing to do extensive testing and will keep you updated."
Cryptic social media response left customers angry and confused
The brand initially updated a series of Instagram posts with cryptic captions, which appear to have been since taken down. The posts alluded to the issues alongside glamour shots of the products in question, and captions directed followers to Daily Harvest's official statement but didn't include explicit information or warnings about the potential danger.
One follower commented, "An important message that should be in the caption at LEAST! Shame on you." Another wrote, "Wow. You guys are really making people work to get this information."
Daily Harvest has since published an Instagram post with more pertinent information regarding the recall. It comes four days after the recall was made.
CNET recently tested and reviewed Daily Harvest, which ships frozen prepared meals including vegan smoothies, soups, bowls and flatbreads to customers. While we didn't experience any problems, we urge anyone with the affected food to discard it immediately. The brand has no reported history of sending tainted or unsafe foods.
The information contained in this article is for educational and informational purposes only and is not intended as health or medical advice. Always consult a physician or other qualified health provider regarding any questions you may have about a medical condition or health objectives.