FDA Issues Mandatory Recall of Kratom Products

The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) has been collaborating with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (MDARD), and local health departments in Michigan on a multistate outbreak of several serotypes of Salmonella linked to the consumption of products containing a plant substance called kratom. Three Michigan residents were known to be infected with Salmonella serotypes linked to this outbreak (Kent, Livingston, and Monroe Counties). This is considered an active investigation.

As of April 5, 2018, nationally a total of 132 people infected with outbreak strains of Salmonella I 4,[5],12:b:- (61), Salmonella Javiana (15), Salmonella Okatie (21), or Salmonella Thompson (35) have been reported from 38 states. Epidemiologic and laboratory evidence strongly suggests that kratom is the likely source of this outbreak. On April 3, 2018, the US Food and Drug Administration issued a mandatory recall order for all food products containing powdered kratom manufactured, processed, packed, or held by Triangle Pharmanaturals LLC after several were found to contain kratom. Other kratom products have been recalled voluntarily by suppliers or manufacturers.

Kratom is a plant consumed for its stimulant effects; it is also used as an opioid substitute. Kratom is also known as Thang, Kakuam, Thom, Ketom, and Biak. Ill people who have been interviewed have reported consuming kratom as pills, powder, and in tea. Many brands and products containing kratom have tested positive for Salmonella; however, a single source, supplier, or brand of kratom has not been identified. Therefore MDHHS and the CDC are advising the public not to consume any products containing kratom.

People should talk to their health care provider before taking any supplement, especially if they are in a group more likely to get a severe Salmonella infection. These groups include:

  • People with weakened immune systems, including people who are receiving chemotherapy or have HIV
  • Pregnant women
  • Children younger than 5 years
  • Older adults

For more information about the outbreak investigation involving kratom, please visit the CDC website: https://www.cdc.gov/salmonella

A list of recalled kratom products is available on the FDA website: https://www.fda.gov/Food/RecallsOutbreaksEmergencies/