Probiotic powder removed from shelves after harmful fungus found

Patients who suffer from cancer, skin trauma, neutropenia and diabetes or have undergone organ transplantation are at most risk from consuming such a fungus.

November 18, 2014 03:45
1 minute read.
Israeli Supermarket

Israeli Supermarket. (photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM/THE JERUSALEM POST)


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A probiotic powder was recalled on Monday after the manufacturer discovered it contains a fungus that could lead to a rare infection.

The powder, called ABC Dophilus, is manufactured by the New-Jersey-based Solgar company. A fungus called Rhizopus oryzea, which is liable to cause mucormycosis, a rare infection especially harmful to those with a weak immune system – premature babies, children and the elderly – was found in it.

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Patients who suffer from cancer, skin trauma, neutropenia and diabetes or have undergone organ transplantation are at most risk from consuming such a fungus.

Mucormycosis frequently involves infection in the sinuses, brain or lungs. While oral or cerebral mucormycosis are the most common types of the disease, the infection can also show up in the gastrointestinal tract, skin and in other organ systems.

The company, through the Health Ministry, asked that customers who bought the specific batch found to have contained the fungus – 074024- 01 – and which has an expiry date of 31/7/15, to return it to the store where they bought it.

Solgar is a popular manufacturer of food supplements, vitamins and minerals. The product that was affected weighs 50 grams, with a bar code marked 033984 000100. A total of 737 packages were sold in Israel.

The company said that on “very rare occasions” the fungus can also affect people who are generally healthy. Anyone who consumed the product should consult with their family physician, the ministry said.

Sales of the product in the US, the UK and Israel have been halted until the US Food and Drug Administration approves it. The Israeli importer has removed the product from store shelves.

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