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Food possibly grown with human waste sold in Livingston County

Consumers in Livingston County are among those being warned by state officials about food possibly contaminated by human waste.

The Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (MDARD) is advising consumers not to eat any Kuntry Gardens produce or products containing produce from Kuntry Gardens of Homer, MI, as it may be contaminated with raw, untreated human waste.

All product is expected to be labeled under the name Kuntry Gardens and were sold at retail locations across the state including at Busch’s Fresh Food Market stores in Brighton, Dexter, Pinckney & South Lyon. They were also sold at the Simply Fresh Market in Brighton and at Greener Pastures Market in South Lyon. A complete list is below.

During a routine produce safety inspection, MDARD staff identified that Kuntry Gardens was using raw, untreated human waste on the fields where produce was grown for sale to local grocery stores and direct sale. Use of raw, untreated, human waste for growing commodities intended for human food is a violation of the Michigan Food Law, PA 92 of 2000, as well as other state and federal laws and regulations. 

No illnesses have been reported to date; however, MDARD is urging any individuals experiencing symptoms such as nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, jaundice (yellowing of the skin), fever, abdominal cramps, loss of appetite, weakness, headache, or other symptoms of foodborne illness to seek medical advice.

If not treated professionally, human waste and other body fluids can spread dangerous infectious diseases such as hepatitis A, Clostridium difficile, E coli, rotavirus and norovirus.

Product may have been further distributed or sold at additional locations, but is known to have been sold at the following locations in Michigan:

• Kuntry Gardens, 29910 R Dr South, Homer
• Busch’s Fresh Food Market stores located in Ann Arbor, Brighton, Canton, Clinton, Dexter, Farmington Hills, Livonia, Novi, Pinckney, Plymouth-Northville, Rochester Hills, Saline, South Lyon, Tecumseh, and West Bloomfield
• Simply Fresh Market, 7300 Grand River Rd, Brighton
• White Lotus, 7217 W Liberty Rd, Ann Arbor
• Argus Farm Stop, 325 W Liberty Street, Ann Arbor
• Agricole Farm Stop, 118 N Main Street, Chelsea
• Pure Pastures, 1192 Ann Arbor Rd, Plymouth
• Ypsi Coop, 312 North River Street, Ypsilanti
• Greener Pastures Market, 21202 Pontiac Trail, South Lyon
• Holiday Market, 520 S Lilley Rd, Canton
• Cherry Capitol, Traverse City

MDARD has placed impacted product still on the farm under seizure and is working with the farm to oversee disposition and corrective action. 

Consumers are encouraged to contact the farm or facility where product was purchased for instruction on disposal and refund.

If consumers have additional questions or concerns, they may contact MDARD at 800-292-3939, Monday through Friday between 8 am and 5 pm. 

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