February 26, 2016 — Alfalfa sprouts have been linked to multiple outbreaks of Salmonella and E. coli, with at least 20 sickened in six states.
According to the FDA, irrigation water and alfalfa sprouts from Sweetwater Farms tested positive for Salmonella. On February 19, the company voluntarily recalled sprouts from Lot 042016.
Case count by state: Kansas (5), Missouri (3), Oklahoma (3) and Pennsylvania (2), with illness onset dates ranging from December 1, 2015 through January 21, 2016.
In a separate outbreak, the Minnesota department of health announced that alfalfa sprouts from the Wisconsin producer Jack & the Green Sprouts have been linked an outbreak of E. coli.
The products may still be available at retailers and food-service operations in multiple states, including grocery/cooperative stores, restaurants, salad bars, and commercial food service. The products were packaged in plastic clamshell boxes with brightly-colored round labels.
Since late January, seven cases of E. coli have been reported Minnesota, plus two in Wisconsin, according to the Star Tribune.
Raw alfalfa sprouts are a common source of food poisoning because the warm, wet conditions seeds require for sprouting is also the same environment where bacteria thrives. Health officials say raw sprouts should be avoided by people with weak immune systems, pregnant women, children, and the elderly.
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