How Daily Harvest Fumbled Its Recall Response

As you may have heard, the vegan meal-delivery service Daily Harvest issued a voluntary recall of its French Lentil and Leek Crumbles this week after several customers alleged on Reddit, TikTok, and other social media platforms that the garnish gave them serious gastrointestinal reactions that, for some, resulted in hospitalization. In a June 22 statement, the company claims to have taken "immediate steps" to address customer complaints, including "reaching out to every person" who received the crumbles and "instructing them to dispose of the product and not eat it." The company has launched an investigation with the FDA to track down the root of the problem, which Delish posits could be linked to high levels of the carb-binding protein lectin, which is found in raw or improperly prepared lentils.

Despite what may look like swift action, many customers were unimpressed with how Daily Harvest initially handled the recall on social media. "I seriously need to know what was going through the daily harvest social team's mind when they decided the best way to make their FOOD POISONING recall announcement was via an aesthetic overhead shot of the bad food," tweeted reporter Paris Martineau, referring to a since-deleted post on Daily Harvest's Instagram. A scan of Daily Harvest's Instagram comments reveals similar reactions among customers.

Customers think the company buried the lead

While Daily Harvest has deleted the aforementioned June 19 Instagram post, it's immortalized as a screenshot attached to Paris Martineau's tweet. The post showed a promotional photo of the crumbles in question, simply captioned, "An important message regarding our French Lentil + Leek Crumbles. Link in bio with details." The brand also attempted to salvage its non-recalled crumble flavor in the same breath, writing, "Spaghetti and Walnut + Thyme crumbles? We think Nonna would approve." 

The brand replaced its vague message with a more detailed Instagram post in tandem with its June 22 statement. "We are taking this very seriously and doing everything we can to get to the bottom of this," reads the caption, which, unlike the brand's initial Instagram response, includes a list of steps it's taking to prevent further crumble-related health issues. Even with the updated response, however, many customers are still unsatisfied. "Why are you only offering $10 credit to those affected?" asked one commenter "Why aren't you covering hospital and testing bills?" 

In a tie with inadequate compensation, the most common complaint among customers is that the company issued its recall warning far too late. "As an active subscriber [...] I feel like I should've gotten an email regarding this as soon as it was being investigated," wrote one user. "Had it been addressed right away, I wouldn't be on the fence regarding whether I will continue to order."