alfalfa-sproutsAugust 12, 2016 — Alfalfa sprouts are responsible for a 9-state outbreak of Salmonella that has sickened at least 30 people, according to warnings from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC).

Investigators traced the outbreak to Sprouts Extraordinaire of Denver, Colorado.

Of the 27 sick people who were interviewed, 63% reported eating alfalfa sprouts in the week before getting sick. All five restaurants where people got sick served sprouts from Sprouts Extraordinaire.

The sprouts were sold in 5-pound boxes labeled “Living Alfalfa Sprouts” and distributed to restaurants in Arkansas, Colorado, Kansas, Louisiana, New Mexico, Texas, Wisconsin, and Wyoming.

Illnesses started on dates ranging from May 21 to July 20, 2016. Five people were hospitalized. There have been no deaths.

Case Count by State: Colorado (13), Kansas (8), Minnesota (1), Missouri (1), Nebraska (2), New York (1), Oregon (1), Texas (1) and Wyoming (1).

Sprouts are one of the most common sources of food poisoning. Since 1996, there have been at least 20 outbreaks. The problem is that bacteria thrive in the warm, wet conditions that sprouts need to grow.

Most people who are infected with Salmonella develop diarrhea, fever, and abdominal cramps 12-72 hours after infection. In some cases, diarrhea is so severe the patient must be hospitalized. Infections can also spread from the intestines to the bloodstream and become life-threatening or deadly.

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