RECALL ALERT: Walmart pulls essential oil spray; two deaths investigated

Rare and dangerous bacteria detected

The six scents of Better Homes and Gardens Essential Oil Infused Aromatherapy Room Spray with Gemstones that were recalled by Walmart on Oct. 22, 2021. (Walmart)

Walmart is recalling about 3,900 bottles of essential oil-infused spray due to a rare and dangerous bacteria that has been detected, officials said. Two deaths are being investigated.

Six scents of the Better Homes and Gardens Essential Oil Infused Aromatherapy Room Spray with Gemstones are affected by this recall.

Dangerous bacteria

Officials said tests by the Centers For Disease Control and Prevention revealed a bottle of the spray contained the rare and dangerous Burkholderia pseudomallei bacteria, which causes melioidosis, according to experts.

Melioidosis is a difficult condition to diagnose and can be fatal, authorities said.

CDC officials are investigating a cluster of four confirmed cases of melioidosis, including two deaths, in the United States. The source of those infections hasn’t been confirmed, but the bottle with the same type of bacteria was found in the home of one of the people who died, according to the CDC.

The four cases of melioidosis were reported in Kansas, Minnesota, Texas and Georgia, officials said. One of the people who died was a child, they said.

Product details

Walmart issued a recall Friday (Oct. 22) for about 3,900 bottles of the product, which was made in India. Here are the six specific scents and product numbers being recalled:

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

The spray was sold online and at around 55 Walmart stores nationwide from February through October of this year, authorities said. The cost for a bottle was around $4.

“Better Homes and Gardens Aromatherapy,” is printed on the label on the front of the five-ounce glass bottle. The aromatherapy was sold with a pump spray nozzle.

What to do

Anyone who purchased one of the affected products should follow these steps:

  • Stop using it immediately. Do not open the bottle. Do not attempt to throw away or dispose of the bottle.
  • Double bag the bottle in clean, clear zip-top resealable bags and place in a small cardboard box. Return the bagged and boxed product to a Walmart store.
  • Wash sheets or linens that the product might have been sprayed on using normal laundry detergent and dry completely in a hot dryer. Bleach can be used, if desired.
  • Wipe down counters and surfaces that might have been exposed to the spray with an undiluted disinfectant cleaner.
  • Minimize handling of the product and wash hands thoroughly after handling the bottle or linens. Wash hands thoroughly after removing gloves.
  • If you have used the product within the last 21 days and experience fever or other symptoms, seek medical care and tell your doctor about the product exposure. Your doctor might recommend that you get antibiotics (post exposure prophylaxis) to prevent infection.

Customers will also receive a $20 Walmart gift card upon return, the company announced.

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