It is impossible to deny the convenience of having pre-made or ready-to-make meals delivered to your doorstep. Daily Harvest, which launched in 2015, has cornered the market on ready-to-eat, “actually healthy” meal delivery. Recently, however, a recent recall of one of its products after consumers fell ill, has led to several lawsuits against the company.
On June 17th, Daily Harvest initiated a voluntary recall after consumers reported adverse reactions after eating the “French Lentil + Leek Crumbles.” After an investigation, Daily Harvest announced that the source of the problem was tara flour, which is one of the ingredients. Just a short while later, on June 27th, a New York resident filed a putative class action lawsuit against Daily Harvest, Peni v. Daily Harvest, 1:22-cv-05443 (S.D.N.Y. filed June 27, 2022), alleging that she bought and consumed the French Lentil + Leek Crumbles and then “became violently ill with gastrointestinal illness and was hospitalized” for “fever, nausea, extreme abdominal pain, chills and joint pain,” which led in the removal of her gallbladder. The plaintiff seeks to assert strict liability, breach of express and implied warranties, and negligence claims against the company on behalf of a Nationwide and New York subclasses of persons who suffered “gastrointestinal illness” as a result of Daily Harvest’s French Lentil + Leek Crumbles.
Daily Harvest also faces a growing number of individual suits also alleging gastrointestinal illness after consuming French Lentil + Leek Crumbles. These individual plaintiffs similarly assert claims for strict liability, breach of warranty, and negligence and assert that Daily Harvest French Lentil + Leek Crumbles caused abdominal pain, gastrointestinal distress, elevated liver enzyme levels, and other ailments.
Daily Harvest is also not the company to be affected by contaminated tara flour. Shortly after Daily Harvest announced its recall, Revive Superfoods, a Canadian-based company that sells subscriptions to frozen smoothies and other healthy food items similar to Daily Harvest, discontinued its sale of its Pineapple and Mango Smoothies, which contained tara flour as an ingredient. Late last month, two New York residents filed separate suits against Revive Superfoods, Eletribi v. Revive Organics Inc., No. 1:22-cv-04362 (E.D.N.Y. filed July 25, 2022) and Cohl v. Revive Organics, Inc., No. 1:22-cv-04359 (E.D.N.Y. filed July 25, 2022), alleging that they fell ill and were ultimately hospitalized after consuming Revive Superfoods’ Pineapple & Mango Smoothies. Although Revive Superfoods has stopped selling these smoothies, it has yet to recall the product.
Tara flour comes from Tara, a bean plant grown in Peru and other Latin American countries for various purposes including cosmetics and food additives, and it is an increasingly popular plant-based protein used in vegan and vegetarian foods. The source of tara flour contamination and the breadth of its impact are still unknown. But with the Daily Harvest recall affecting over 28,000 French Lentil + Leek Crumbles meals, and more than 470 reports so far of consumers falling ill or experiencing adverse reactions, the number of lawsuits stemming from the tara flour contamination is likely to grow.
 Ready v. Daily Harvest, No. 1:22-cv-05385 (S.D.N.Y filed June 26, 2022); Looby v. Daily Harvest, No. 55840/2022 (Supreme Ct. of N.Y. filed July 15, 2022); Albright v. Daily Harvest, No. 1:22-cv-05987-UA (S.D.N.Y. filed July 21, 2022).