December 4, 2016

Sprouts Extraordinare Salmonella Outbreak Ends

The Salmonella Reading and Salmonella Albony outbreak linked to alfalfa sprouts produced and sold by Sprouts Extraordinare of Denver, Colorado is over, according to the CDC. Thirty-six people sickened with the outbreak strains of Salmonella were reported from nine states. Seven people were hospitalized; no deaths were reported. Epidemiologic and traceback evidence indicated that alfalfa sprouts that were supplied by Sprouts Extraordinare were the likely source of this outbreak. That company recalled alfalfa sprouts from the market place on August 5, 2016. The CDC says that this outbreak appears to be over, but warns the public that "sprouts are known to cause foodborne illness and outbreaks." In fact, since 1996 there have been at least 30 food poisoning outbreaks linked to the … [Read more...]

Salmonella Outbreak in KS and OK Associated with Sprouts

The Kansas Department of health and Environment is reporting that a Salmonella outbreak that has sickened eight people in two states is associated with sprouts grown at Sweetwater Farms in Inman, Kansas. Five people in Kansas and three people in Oklahoma are sick. The KDHE, the FDA, the CDC, the Oklahoma Department of Health, and the Kansas Department of Agriculture have been working together on this outbreak. The last date of illness onset was in late January in a man from Kansas. Three Oklahoma cases have been matched to the outbreak strain of Salmonella. Public health officials have inspected Sweetwater Farms and found samples of irrigation water and products that have tested positive for Salmonella, although the exact strain of the pathogenic bacteria has not been identified. Lab … [Read more...]

Good Seed Recalls Sprouts for Possible Listeria Monocytogenes

Good Seed Inc. of Springfield, Virginia is recalling all packages of soybean sprouts and mung bean sprouts because they may be contaminated with Listeria monocytogenes. There is no word on whether or not any illnesses have been reported to date. The recalled items are 1-pound bags of soybean sprouts in clear plastic bags labeled “GOODSEED Soy Bean Sprouts” “Keep Refrigerated” with a UPC Code of “21111 10035” produced on or after April 1, 2015. Also recalled are 2-pound bags of soybean sprouts in clear plastic bags labeled “GOODSEED Soy Bean Sprouts” “Keep Refrigerated” with a UPC Code of “21112 58772” produced on or after April 1, 2015. Ten-pound bags of soybean sprouts in black plastic bags labeled with a sticker “GOODSEED Soy Bean Sprouts” produced on or after April 1, 2015 are … [Read more...]

Jimmy John’s Evergreen Sprouts E. coli Outbreak in 2014 Sickened 19

An E. coli O121 outbreak in 2014 linked to Evergreen raw clover sprouts that were served at Jimmy John's, the Pita Pita, and Daanen's Deli, sickened 19 people, according to government officials. Those people lived in six states. Forty four percent of patients were hospitalized; there was no recall; no one developed hemolytic uremic syndrome; and there were no deaths. The outbreak case count by state was: California (1), Idaho (3), Michigan (1), Montana (2), Utah (1), and Washington (11). Thirteen of the sixteen people interviewed reported eating raw sprouts the week before they got sick. Traceback investigations concluded that contaminated raw clover sprouts produced by Evergreen Fresh Sprouts of Idaho was the likely source of this outbreak. After a meeting with the FDA, the company … [Read more...]

Study Examines Treatments for Microbial Contamination in Sprouts

A study published int he April issue of the Journal of Food Science looked at seed disinfection treatments of sprouts. In the last few years, there have been several major foodborne illness outbreaks linked to raw sprouts, including an E. coli outbreak linked to clover sprouts served at Jimmy John's restaurants that sickened 29 people in 11 states. And there were seven recalls of sprouts for pathogenic bacterial contamination. Sprouts are problematic for several reasons. First, the bacteria can be encapsulated inside the seed, making it impervious to physical disinfection such as the application of calcium hypochlorite. And the seeds are sprouted in warm, moist conditions, which are ideal for bacterial growth. The FDA released guidelines in 1999 designed to limit this problem, … [Read more...]

Sprouts and Pathogenic Bacteria: What You Should Know

Raw sprouts have been the cause of several food poisoning outbreaks in the last several years. In 2012, there were many recalls of raw sprouts for bacterial contamination. Several facilities, including Kroger and Jimmy John's, decided to stop offering sprouts for sale altogether, although Jimmy John's put the vegetables back on their menu in October 2012. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has been warning those in high risk groups to avoid sprouts completely, unless they are thoroughly cooked. And FoodSafety.gov just released information about what you, as a consumer, should know about sprouts. Since 1996, there have been at least 30 outbreaks of foodborne illness associated with "raw and lightly cooked sprouts". The most common pathogens involved were Salmonella, … [Read more...]

Jimmy John’s Putting Sprouts Back on the Menu

According to a post on his Facebook page, the owner of Jimmy John's restaurant chain is putting sprouts back on the menu. He said, "I am rolling out a new sprout. Costs more for me, it's tougher to manage, but we think we hit a homerun on this one." Recalls of contaminated sprouts and food poisoning outbreaks linked to sprouts have become so common that they have been nicknamed "sproutbreaks". There have been nine major sprout recalls in the last 10 months in the United States. Food safety experts say that sprouts are inherently dangerous because the pathogenic bacteria become encapsulated in the seeds as they are formed, which means cleaning the seeds before sprouting them is ineffective. The warm, moist environment in which seeds sprouts is the perfect culture for bacterial … [Read more...]

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