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Human waste used on crops came from farm’s outhouses

Additional details have emerged about how the food grown at a Michigan farm, and sold in stores including in Livingston County, was contaminated by human waste.

A state health advisory Monday warned consumers not to eat any Kuntry Gardens produce or products containing produce from Kuntry Gardens of Homer, MI, as it may have been contaminated with raw, untreated human waste.

The Detroit Free Press reports that the advisory was prompted by the discovery of two 5-gallon buckets of excrement dumped directly into the fields. The contamination was discovered during a routine inspection conducted Sept. 28.

Jennifer Holton, MDARD director of communications, told the Free Press that the two buckets came from outhouses on the farm and prompted a cease and desist and seizure order being placed on the farm by MDARD.

One of the stores that sold Kuntry Gardens products was Greener Pastures Market in South Lyon which, according to a Facebook post, sold only small quantities and immediately disposed of all Kuntry Gardens products.

A recall on Kuntry Gardens produce was also issued by Busch’s Fresh Food Market, which said a full refund will be issued to customers for any Kuntry Gardens items purchased since Aug. 1

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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