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State officials are warning Minnesotans against eating a specific brand of packaged basil sold at Trader Joe's that has been linked to a salmonella outbreak, prompting recalls of the product in Minnesota and other states.

So far a third of the 12 people who tested positive nationwide for salmonella are Minnesotans, according to the state Health Department.

The brand in question is Infinite Herbs' 2.5-ounce organic basil, which is packaged in a clamshell-style plastic container and sold at Trader Joe's. Four people in the Twin Cities metro area reported becoming sick between Feb. 15 and March 27 after eating the basil, according to a Health Department news release.

"Anyone who has it in their refrigerator or freezer should throw it away," according to the release.

In a statement from Infinite Herbs, a nationwide company based in Florida, company leaders said they were "deeply concerned about this recall and the illnesses reported by consumers."

"Our priority is always the health and safety of our consumers, and we are working diligently to investigate the cause and address the issue promptly," they added.

While 12 cases of salmonella have been reported so far, the total is likely higher since many people who get it don't get tested, the Department of Health said.

Trader Joe's ceased its shipments on April 12 and has since removed the brand from store shelves. The packages were sold between Feb. 1 and April 6, and buyers in that period will get a refund on the product, Trader Joe's said in a news release.

"We take these matters seriously — personally, even, as our families eat and drink TJ's products, too," a Trader Joe's spokesperson said in an email.

The states recalling the basil are on the East Coast, in the Midwest and Southeast.

This was only the most recent salmonella outbreak that Minnesota officials have warned about in the past year. Last July, the state investigated after five children tested positive for salmonella that was linked to unpasteurized milk. One of the children was hospitalized.

Four months later, a salmonella outbreak linked to cantaloupe killed two Minnesotans and infected a total of 15 people, more than in any other state. A Minneapolis-based law firm filed a federal lawsuit over the illnesses, seeking unspecified damages from Arizona-based Trufresh.

In December, a person reported becoming sick with salmonella after eating a Busseto brand Charcuterie Sampler purchased at Sam's Club. That product was also recalled.

Symptoms of salmonella can include diarrhea, abdominal pain and fever. About one in four cases require hospitalization, according to the state. Investigators were also working to determine if there were other contaminated products.