Walmart has recalled a small number of Aromatherapy Room Spray bottles because it may have “rare and dangerous bacteria” and could cause serious injuries and even death.

The recall announced Friday is for 3,900 bottles of “Better Homes and Gardens-branded- Essential Oil Infused Aromatherapy Room Spray with Gemstones” that come in six different scents, according to a recall notice posted on the Consumer Product Safety Commission website.

Two deaths have been reported and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has tested a version of the product and “determined that it contained the dangerous bacteria Burkholderia pseudomallei which causes melioidosis,” the recall notice said.

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The aromatherapy room spray came in 5-ounce glass bottles and was sold at about 55 Walmart stores nationwide and online at walmart.com from February 2021 through October 2021 for about $4.

Walmart spokesperson Randy Hargrove stated that the company would continue to assist the federal agencies in their investigations and was committed to providing high-quality, safe products for our customers.

“We are worried that this product could be linked to rare bacteria. Hargrove expressed his sympathy and concern for the families affected. “We took immediate action after federal agencies alerted us Wednesday of concerns with an aromatherapy room spray manufactured by Flora Classique Inc. and sold under the Better Homes & Gardens brand.”

Walmart pulled the products, which were made in India, and part of a pilot program in 55 stores, Hargrove said, adding the retailer has also “put a register block in place at our stores and online to prevent any further sales.”

According to the recall, the CDC has been investigating a cluster of four cases of melioidosis, including two deaths, one of which was a child. The cases were reported in Kansas, Minnesota, Texas and Georgia.

The CDC took samples from a bottle of the Better Homes and Gardens Lavender & Chamomile aromatherapy room spray in the home of the Georgia victim.

The CDC stated that melioidosis could cause a range of symptoms, including chest pain, coughing and brain infections.

According to the recall notice, “Though it has yet been determined that the source of these infections is not known by CDC,” said the warning.

Nearly 4,000 bottles of "Better Homes and Gardens-branded- Essential Oil Infused Aromatherapy Room Spray with Gemstones" that was sold at Walmart is being recalled.

According to the CDC, most cases of melioidosis in the United States are in people who traveled to areas where the disease is more common, but the four patients had no recent history of international travel.

The CDC said the five other scents in this product line are included in the recall, “although it is not yet known if they are affected. Investigation continues into whether other related products and brands may pose a risk.”

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Better Homes and Gardens Room Spray Recall

The aromatherapy was sold with a pump spray nozzle with “Better Homes and Gardens Aromatherapy” printed on the label on the front of the glass bottle. This recall includes the following products and 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

Information about Walmart’s recall

The recall notice states that customers who have purchased affected products from Walmart will get a $20 Walmart gift certificate after returning the product.

The notice stated that consumers must immediately cease using the recalled room-spray and double bag it in clear, zip-top resealable bags. They should also place the small box in a cardboard box. Walmart will then give a complete refund. The bottle should not be opened. Don’t throw out or discard the bottle.

Walmart said in its statement to USA TODAY that it’s important these products be handled correctly and returned to Walmart. For any inconvenience, the retailer will offer a full refund as well as a $20 gift card.

Customers with questions about the recall can call Walmart at 800-925-6278 from 7 a.m. through 9 p.m. Central Time daily. 

What’s melioidosis?

Melioidosis, also called Whitmore’s disease, is an infectious disease that can infect humans or animals, according to the CDC, which says it is caused by the bacterium Burkholderia pseudomallei and “predominately a disease of tropical climates, especially in Southeast Asia and northern Australia where it is widespread.”

Contaminated water and soil can carry the bacteria that causes melioidosis. This bacteria is transmitted directly to the affected source, which can result in infection of animals and people.

There are many types of melioidosis, each with its own signs and symptoms. The CDC said because of the wide range of signs and symptoms it “can be mistaken for other diseases such as tuberculosis or more common forms of pneumonia.”

Some symptoms and signs of melioidosis include:

  • Localized infection: A localized form of infection that causes pain, swelling or fever. It can also cause ulceration and abscess.
  • High fever, headaches; cough.
  • A bloodstream infection is a fever, headache, respiratory distress, abdominal pain; joint pain; or disorientation.
  • From fever to weight loss, stomach pain or chest pain to muscle or joint pain or headaches to central nervous system/brain infections.

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Source: USAToday.com

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