An alfalfa sprouts Salmonella outbreak (sproutbreak) has struck Kansas for the second time in six months. Eight people from Kansas are among the 30 sickened in nine states in an outbreak linked to contaminated alfalfa sprouts from Sprouts Extraordinaire in Denver.
Many of those sickened, ate the contaminated sprouts at restaurants, but health officials have not released the names of those establishments. Five people have been hospitalized.
A recall has been issued for the sprouts which are tainted with two strains: Salmonella Reading and Salmonella Abony. Onset of illness dates range from May 21 to July 20. States reporting illnesses include: Colorado (13), Kansas (8), Minnesota (1), Missouri (1), Nebraska (2), New York (1), Oregon (1), Texas (1) and Wyoming (1).
In February, five people in Kansas were part of Salmonella outbreak linked to alfalfa sprouts from Sweetwater Farms in Inman, Kansas. That outbreak also incldued three illnesses in Missouri, three illnesses in Oklahoma and two illnesses in Pennsylvania. Five of the case patients in that outbreak, who ranged in age from 18 to 73, were hospitalized.
Symptoms of a Salmonella infection, including nausea, vomiting and diarrhea that can be bloody, usually develop within six to 72 hours of exposure and last about a week. For some, the diarrhea and vomiting can be so severe it causes dehydration, and hospitalization is required. If the infection travels from the gastrointestinal tract to the bloodstream, life-threatening complications can occur. Anyone who developed these symptoms after eating these sprouts should contact a doctor and mention exposure to Salmonella.
Because of the damp environment required to grow sprouts, it is difficult to control for bacteria. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that children, seniors, pregnant women, and those with weakened immune systems avoid eating raw sprouts of any kind and that others thoroughly cook sprouts before eating them. To see FoodSafety.gov’s fact sheet on sprouts click here.