On October 22, Walmart recalled about 3,900 bottles of Better Homes and Gardens Aromatherapy Room Spray due to “a rare and dangerous bacteria and risk of serious injury and death,” according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
The aromatherapy room spray was manufactured in India. It tested positive for a bacteria that causes a disease called melioidosis.
Four people developed the disease in Kansas, Minnesota, Texas and Georgia. Two of them died, including one child.
Melioidosis is extremely rare in the U.S., but far more common in tropical and subtropical countries such as India. People can be infected after breathing the bacteria in the air or swallowing it.
The symptoms of a lung infection can include coughing, chest pain when breathing, high fever, headache, sore muscles, and weight loss. Because the disease is so rare, it can be difficult to diagnose.
The recalled aromatherapy spray cost $4 and it was sold at about 55 Walmart stores and online between February and October 21, 2021.
The recall includes 6 scents of the spray:
- 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
Because the bacteria is so dangerous, consumers should not use — or even open — the bottle, and it should NOT be thrown away in the regular trash.
Instead, consumers should put on gloves, double-bag the bottle in two zip-top plastic bags, and put the double-bagged product in a small cardboard box.
Then, consumers should return the double-bagged and boxed product to Walmart for a full refund, plus a $20 Walmart gift card.
Consumers should also disinfect their homes, including any fabrics or surfaces that may have been sprayed. Sheets or linens can be washed with normal laundry detergent and dried completely in a hot dryer. Bleach can be used if desired, according to the CDC.