February 26, 2020

Sprout Salmonella Outbreak Includes 3 in Maine

Three people in Maine are part of a 10-state Salmonella outbreak. The outbreak has been linked to mung bean sprouts produced by Wonton Foods Inc. of Brooklyn has sickened 63 people in Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, Montana, New Hampshire, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island and Vermont.  Eleven people have been hospitalized.

A recall has not been issued for the sprouts which were distributed to Asian restaurants and other establishments in nine states on the East Coast (all of the above except Montana. The single case patient there is believed to have contracted the infection while visiting the East Coast.) Wonton Foods stopped production and shipment of the sprouts on November 21, and made its last shipment it made was November 18.

Consumers who have purchased these sprouts should not eat them. Children, seniors, pregnant women and others with compromised immune systems are at heightened risk of contracting a Salmonella infection. These groups should always avoid eating raw sprouts of any kind.

Symptoms of a Salmonella infection including fever, abdominal pain and diarrhea, usually develop six to 72 hours after exposure and last about a week. For some people, the diarrhea is so severe that hospitalization is required. These patients are at greater risk of developing a serious, sometimes fatal, bloodstream infection.

Consumers who have eaten the sprouts and develop symptoms should see a doctor and mention exposure to Salmonella. Anyone who has purchased the sprouts should  dispose of them by placing them in a plastic bag, sealing the bag and throwing  it away.

After disposing of the sprouts, the FDA recommends: washing the inside walls and shelves of the refrigerator, cutting boards and countertops; then sanitizing them with a solution of one tablespoon of chlorine bleach to one gallon of hot water, then drying all of the surfaces and utensils with a clean paper towel. After the clean up, make sure to wash hands with warm water and soap for at least 20 seconds .

 

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