April 26, 2018

After Deadly Listeria Outbreak, Wholesome Soy Says it Will Close, Recall Sprouts

After being linked to a Listeria outbreak that killed two people and sickened three others, Wholesome Soy Products Inc. told the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) that it will halt production, cease distribution and issue a recall of mung bean sprouts identified as the source of the outbreak. Initially, agreed to halt production of some of its products, but not soy bean sprouts or the mung bean sprouts identified as the outbreak source. And said it would recall products except the sprouts, by notifying customers by telephone.

Bean SproutsThe outbreak, which sickened four people in Illinois and one person in Michigan, was linked through whole genome sequencing and pulsed field gel electrophoresis (PFGE) to products produced by Wholesome Soy Products Inc. The FDA inspected the Wholesome Soy Products facility in August and October and found unsanitary conditions, many of which were present during both inspections.

Treatment of listeriosis almost always requires hospitalization. All five case patients in this outbreak were hospitalized. Two of the surviving patients reported eating bean sprouts before they became ill.

Listeria poses a special risk for children, seniors, pregnant women and others with compromised immune systems. Among pregnant women, listeriosis can cause miscarriage, stillbirth, premature delivery and birth defects.

“These cases are so sad,” said Fred Pritzker, Food Poisoning Bulletin publisher and food safety attorney who has represented clients in Listeria personal injury and wrongful death lawsuits. “Listeria contamination in food is dangerous and preventable.”

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