Walmart Recalls Room Sprays Contaminated With ‘Rare and Dangerous’ Bacteria Linked to 2 Deaths (2024)

The CDC is still investigating the deaths linked to the aromatherapy room spray recall.

By Jake Smith
  • Walmart is recalling 3,900 bottles of room spray that could be contaminated with “rare and dangerous” bacteria, per a recall notice.
  • The Better Homes and Gardens-branded products, which were sold at 55 Walmart stores nationwide and online, could lead to a potentially fatal condition called melioidosis.
  • The CDC is currently investigating a cluster of melioidosis cases, which includes two deaths; one of the recalled room sprays was found in the home of a victim.
  • If you have one of the recalled items, you should immediately stop using it, per the CDC, double bag the bottle in clean, clear zip-top resealable bags, place it in a small cardboard box and return it to any Walmart store. Do not open the bottle, or attempt to throw away or dispose of it.

Check your cabinets: Walmart is recalling a popular room spray sold in stores and online that could be contaminated with a “rare and dangerous” bacteria linked to two deaths, per a recall notice posted by the United States Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) on October 22.

Six scents of Better Homes and Gardens-branded aromatherapy room sprays have been recalled by Walmart over potential bacterial contamination. The bacteria, Burkholderia pseudomallei, causes melioidosis, a potentially fatal illness that can be difficult to diagnose, according to the CPSC. About 3,900 bottles were sold in 55 stores nationwide, as well as on the retailer’s site.

Earlier this year, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) began investigating four melioidosis cases in Georgia, Kansas, Minnesota, and Texas suspected to be caused by the same strain of B. pseudomallei. Two of the infected people, including one child, died. After testing the soil, water, and products in and near the homes of the patients, CDC investigators identified the bacteria in one of the now-recalled Better Homes and Gardens room sprays in the Georgia victim’s home, triggering the nationwide recall.

Each Walmart room spray was sold in a 5-ounce glass bottle, has a pump spray nozzle, and contains gems inside the bottle. Though Walmart has since stopped sales of the product, the items were sold from February through October for about $4. This is the full list of recalled sprays and product numbers:

  • Better Homes and Gardens Gem Room Spray, Lavender & Chamomile (84140411420)
  • Better Homes and Gardens Gem Room Spray, Lemon & Mandarin (84140411421)
  • Better Homes and Gardens Gem Room Spray, Lavender (84140411422)
  • Better Homes and Gardens Gem Room Spray, Peppermint (84140411423)
  • Better Homes and Gardens Gem Room Spray, Lime & Eucalyptus (84140411424)
  • Better Homes and Gardens Gem Room Spray, Sandalwood and Vanilla (84140411425)

If you bought one of the affected products, the CPSC and the CDC urge you to stop using them immediately. Don’t attempt to open or throw away the bottle; instead, you should double-bag the spray in clear, zip-top bags, then place it in a cardboard box. Then, take the spray back to a Walmart store to return it. Upon return, you’ll also receive a $20 gift card.

Any sheets or linens that were sprayed with the product should be washed normally, then dried in a hot dryer, the CDC and CPSC recommend. Similarly, wipe down any surfaces that might have been touched by the spray with a disinfectant cleaner. Try to touch the spray (plus sprayed linens and surfaces) as little as possible; if you wear gloves, make sure to thoroughly wash your hands after removing them.

About a dozen cases of melioidosis are diagnosed annually in the United States, according to the CDC. Experts believe the condition occurs after inhaling, drinking, or eating contaminated soil or water. The bacteria has a wide range of signs and symptoms, ranging from fever to chest pain, headache to seizures, and it’s commonly mistaken for tuberculosis or pneumonia. The affected products were manufactured in India, a country with relatively higher numbers of melioidosis cases, the CDC notes.

Consumers can call Walmart at 800-925-6278 with any questions.

Walmart Recalls Room Sprays Contaminated With ‘Rare and Dangerous’ Bacteria Linked to 2 Deaths (2)

Jake Smith

Jake Smith, an editorial fellow at Prevention, recently graduated from Syracuse University with a degree in magazine journalism and just started going to the gym. Let's be honest—he's probably scrolling through Twitter right now.

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Walmart Recalls Room Sprays Contaminated With ‘Rare and Dangerous’ Bacteria Linked to 2 Deaths (2024)
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