Daily Harvest Faces Lawsuits Over Claims of Mystery Illness Causing Severe Pain and Gallbladder Failure

Daily Harvest
The company has received complaints of severe illness and gallbladder removals from customers.Daily Harvest

The vegan home delivery company has voluntarily recalled its lentil and leek crumbles after receiving hundreds of complaints from consumers who said they became seriously ill after eating the product.

The popular vegan food delivery company Daily Harvest is facing lawsuits after hundreds of customers complained of being sickened by its lentil and leek crumbles, with some saying they underwent emergency surgery to have their gallbladders removed.

The New York-based firm has voluntarily recalled the product and reported it has received at least 470 complaints from consumers who said they became ill after eating the crumbles.

This week, company founder and CEO Rachel Drori said in a statement that Daily Harvest has been working with the Food and Drug Administration and other health experts, but tests for common food-borne illnesses "have all come back negative."

"Despite consulting with numerous experts, cooperating with FDA’s investigation, working with our supply chain, and conducting extensive testing, we have not yet identified a cause," she said. "I recognize this is so frustrating. I am incredibly frustrated."

Carol Ann Ready, an Oklahoma woman, filed a lawsuit this week alleging she was hospitalized after eating "French Lentil + Leek Crumbles" and had to have her gallbladder removed.

"We have been retained by nearly 100 people, most with stories nearly identical to Ms. Ready," her attorney, Bill Marler, said in a statement. "We have had all clients contact the FDA directly to share their symptoms. We are in the process of testing nearly two dozen leftover products to determine what ingredients in these products that would cause such severe symptoms," he said.

From April 28 to June 17, about 28,000 units of the recalled product were distributed to U.S. consumers through online sales and direct delivery, as well as through retail sales at a Daily Harvest store in Chicago, and a pop-up store in Los Angeles, the company said.

The home delivery service advised its customers to discard the lentil and leek crumbles.

Vegan influencer Luke Wesley Pearson said on social media last week that he underwent gallbladder surgery after twice eating the lentil product. "My life is forever changed by this," he said.

Cosmopolitan creative director Abby Silverman posted a video on TikTok saying she sought hospital treatment after experiencing severe gastrointestinal pain after eating the crumbles.

"We are working 24 hours a day, seven days a week on this. You deserve answers," the company's founder said.

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