Kratom is the name used for leaves from an evergreen tree found in Southeast Asia.
"We don't know exactly which brand or which products are contaminated", says Laura Gieraltowski, PhD., head of the CDC's Foodborne Outbreak Team.
In an announcement on its website, the CDC announced 28 infections in 20 states, with eleven hospitalizations (but no deaths) linked to Salmonella infections, potentially from kratom pills, powder, or tea. People consume these products to tackling pain, anxiety or depression as well as indicators of opioid withdrawal. "So until we figure that part out, we're advising people to stay away from kratom altogether".
Additionally, the FDA today announced the voluntary destruction and recall of a large volume of kratom-containing dietary supplements.
"To protect the public health, we'll continue to affirm the risks associated with kratom, warn consumers against its use and take aggressive enforcement action against kratom-containing products", said FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb, M.D.
While the supplements had been meant to be used to help people with weight loss, there have been reports of people using them as an alternative to prescription opioids. No deaths have been reported.
Last week, the FDA released findings showing kratom acts like an opioid and can be risky and addictive.
The herbal drug kratom is under fire for the second time this month.
"Cases of mixing kratom, other opioids, and other types of medication are extremely troubling because the activity of kratom at opioid receptors indicates there may be similar risks of combining kratom with certain drugs, just as there are with FDA-approved opioids", Gottlieb said. "If they could come up with the same type of testing and policies like they have for marijuana here that fit kratom use, I think it would be a great move in the right direction of keeping it legal".