The Internet railed against vegan food delivery company Daily Harvest for both the fact and form of its recall of French Lentil + Leek Crumbles.
“We’ve received customer reports of French Lentil + Leek Crumbles causing gastrointestinal issues,” Daily Harvest announced on its website Sunday. “We took immediate steps to address what we heard from customers, reaching out to every person who received French Lentil + Leek Crumbles, instructing them to dispose of the product and not eat it.”
Daily Harvest also said its talking with customers who experienced health problems as well as offering refunds. If you felt sick after eating the French Lentil + Leek Crumbles and Daily Harvest hasn’t contacted you, the company asks that you file a report with them online or email them at email@example.com.
Instagram user lukewesleypearson said he ate them May 29 and June 6 and they caused him to have gall bladder removal surgery after spending 26 hours in an emergency room.
On the urbanoreganics Instagram account, a man said he eats a plant-based diet and doesn’t drink alcohol, but he began suffering “extremely intense upper abdominal pain, fever, nausea and fatigue,” and his liver enzymes tests were high.
Daily Harvest put a link to its website recall announcement in its Instagram account bio on Sunday, and a note to click on the link in a since-removed Sunday post about a different variety of crumbles. But that post included the jaunty “Spaghetti and Walnut + Thyme Crumbles? We think Nonna would approve,” and the juxtaposition struck some folks as inappropriate.
Also, some criticized Daily Harvest for posting the link, requiring an action on the part of an interested person, instead of just stating the problem.
“Why not include the most important message in the caption?” Instagram user adhd.nutritionist asked. “Is your social media aesthetic more important than consumers’ health?”
Wednesday’s Twitter post was greeted with similar disdain: “Still can’t outright WARN people, huh?” Twitter user aka_tahto snarled.
Multiple people have been hospitalized after eating this product with severe pain and in some cases organ failure. This is better than “link in bio” but you’re literally destroying people’s insides, please treat this matter with the appropriate degree of seriousness.
— Lisa Rinna’s Bargain Bin Fillers (@DashingAroundLA) June 22, 2022
While you could look at Daily Harvest’s way of announcing the recall as trying to lure people to their site, what Daily Harvest did is also more than most food companies do when pulling products.
Companies might put a recall on their website. More often, they issue press releases that post on some external press release website few consumers will see. Then that release is posted to the FDA site or the USDA posts its version of the release. Supermarkets might put the press release on their websites.
But only occasionally will a food company’s Twitter account acknowledge the recall. Even less often will there be a Facebook post. Instagram posts on recalls are $2 bill rare.