Raw Alfalfa Sprouts Linked to Salmonella Contamination


From an FDA News Release dated Sunday, April 26, 2009:

– The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) today recommended that consumers not eat raw alfalfa sprouts, including sprout blends containing alfalfa sprouts, until further notice because the product has been linked to Salmonella serotype Saintpaul contamination. Other types of sprouts have not been implicated at this time.

– Michigan, Minnesota, Pennsylvania, South Dakota, Utah, and West Virginia have reported 31 cases of illness with the outbreak strain of Salmonella Saintpaul to CDC. Most of those who became ill reported eating raw alfalfa sprouts.  Some reported eating raw sprouts at restaurants; others reported purchasing the raw sprouts at the retail level.

– Initial investigation results trace the contaminated raw alfalfa sprouts to multiple sprout growers in multiple states. This suggests a potential problem with the seeds used, as well as the possible failure of the sprout growers involved to appropriately and consistently follow the FDA Sprout Guidance issued in 1999. The guidance recommends an effective seed disinfection treatment immediately before the start of sprouting (such as treating seed in 20,000 parts per million Calcium hypochlorite solution with agitation for 15 minutes) and regularly testing the water used for every batch of sprouts for Salmonella and E coli O157:H7 contamination.

While we have assurance from our suppliers that none of the alflafa products we carry at Native Sun Natural Foods Market have been implicated, we have pulled them from our shelves as a precaution for your safety. Recalled products are available for refund or exchange. As of April 27, 2009, our suppliers will not ship any more alfalfa products until further notice from the FDA and CDC.

Click here to read the full FDA press release on the on Raw Alfalfa Sprouts Linked to Salmonella Contamination.


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