HOMER, Mich. — The Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (MDARD) is warning customers not to eat produce or products from Kuntry Gardens in Homer, Michigan.
During a routine safety inspection on Sept. 28, MDARD staff found Kuntry Gardens was using raw, untreated human waste on fields. MDARD said using human waste for growing crops intended for human food is a violation of the Michigan Food Law, PA 92 of 2000. Also, it violates other state and federal regulations.
MDARD said the human waste was applied to the fields from two bucket outhouses located on the farm. Each had two five-gallon pails, which were then dumped directly on the field.
Human waste can spread dangerous infectious diseases. MDARD encourages anyone experiencing symptoms such as nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, jaundice, fever, abdominal cramps, loss of appetite, weakness, headache or other foodborne illness signs to reach out to their doctor.
There have been no known reported illnesses due to produce from the farm.
Produce grown by Kuntry Gardens known to be impacted are tomatoes, zucchini, cucumbers, butternut squash, poblano peppers, red carmen peppers and pumpkins.
Kuntry Gardens produce is known to be sold at these places in Michigan:
- Kuntry Gardens, Homer
- Bush’s Fresh Food Market 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, Brighton
- White Lotus, Ann Arbor
- Argus Farm Stop, Ann Arbor
- Agricole Farm Stop, Chelsea
- Pure Pastures, Plymouth
- Ypsi Co-Oop, Ypsilanti
- Greener Pastures Market, South Lyon
- Holiday Market, Canton
- Cherry Capitol, Traverse City
Ypsi Food Co-op told 13 ON YOUR SIDE they did not have any Kuntry Gardens produce in their store. Still, the staff cleaned all surfaces where work was done for produce prep, storage or display with a sanitizing bleach solution.
"We do believe that this is a rare occurrence," said Corinne Sikorski, general manager, "We hope that people will continue to trust local produce and all of us that work with the local farmers to make sure that those kinds of things don't happen in the future."
Sikorski said they are working with the state and regulations to make sure something like this does not happen again.
Greener Pastures Market in South Lyon told 13 ON YOUR SIDE hearing the news was "definingly scary," and worthy of taking all precautions necessary.
In a Facebook post, Greener Pastures said they have disposed of all Kuntry Gardens products, which were a very minor vendor for them. The post urged customers to contact them for a refund on any products in question.
White Lotus Farms of Ann Arbor posted on its Instagram page that it will no longer be doing business with Kuntry Gardens. It urged customers who purchased produce from White Lotus recently to throw them out, and they will be offered a refund.
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