Walmart Issues Recall of Arometherapy Oils in Connection to Deadly Bacteria


Walmart has announced the recall of an aromatherapy spray after at least two potentially related deaths in the US. The CDC announced on October 22 that the notice was in connection to a sudden spike in cases of a rare condition called melioidosis.

Read on for more information regarding the recall and the potential contamination of deadly bacteria.

Recall Information

Walmart’s recall covers six fragrances of Better Homes and Gardens Essential Oil Infused Aromatherapy Room Spray with Gemstones products. Walmart locations across the US sold the spray bottles, which were also available online. In total, the recall covers almost 3,900 bottles of aromatherapy sprays.

The official report from the Consumer Product Safety Commission indicates that the CDC is investigating the spray products’ connection to a spike in melioidosis. There have been at least two deaths in the US because of this outbreak, leading the CDC to conduct tests of various household items found in the homes with the patients.

The CDC’s investigation revealed that a bottle of the recalled spray contained the rare bacteria Burkholderia pseudomallei. However, the CDC has not yet determined that the product was the source of the infections. Walmart issued the recall out of an abundance of caution. Human contact with this bacterium strain can cause illness and even death.


Melioidosis, also known as Whitmore’s disease, is rare in the US. The illness is more common in tropical climates due to Burkholderia pseudomallei’s narrow habitability range. Melioidosis is often difficult to diagnose because the infection can take many forms. These symptoms often look similar to other, more common, illnesses. If the Burkholderia pseudomallei bacteria are present in the recalled sprays, infections are likely to be pulmonary.

Pulmonary melioidosis infections can result in a persistent cough, high fever, headaches, chest pain, and a suppressed appetite. Typically, symptoms take between two to four weeks to manifest after contact with the bacteria.

What To Do With the Recalled Products

Customers who have purchased the recalled sprays shouldn’t throw them away. If the products contain deadly bacteria, they require specialized attention. Customers should carefully place the aromatherapy bottles in two sealed zip-top bags. Then, secure the product inside a cardboard box.

Return the recalled item to a Walmart location in exchange for a refund. Thoroughly clean any surfaces touched by the spray. Sheets and linens that contacted the mist require disinfecting before further use.