The California Department of Public Health (CDPH) said Monday the tea may be contaminated with Clostridium botulinum, a bacterium that causes severe paralytic illness.
Two Orange County residents got sick after consuming the tea in March, according to CDPH.
Affected products were manufactured by U.S. Deer Antlers Exports & Imports, Inc., and packaged in 6-inch by 4-inch plastic tea pouches that contain labeling in the Korean language. There are no barcodes or “best if used by” dates on the packaging.
The tea was sold to acupuncturists and general consumers in California, Florida, Illinois, Maryland, North Carolina, Texas and Virginia. The tea is used as a health supplement which is purported to help with arthritis and other joint problems.
Symptoms of botulism include double vision, blurred vision, drooping eyelids, slurred speech, difficulty swallowing and weakness. These are symptoms of muscle paralysis caused by the bacterial toxin, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
A representative for U.S. Deer Antlers Experts & Imports said the company is cooperating with health officials to find out what happened, and may launch its own investigation to determine the source of the problem.
Source: CBS News