Yes, you can sue for listeriosis from sprouts if there is evidence that they were contaminated with Listeria monocytogenes bacteria. If so, you have the right to seek compensation from the responsible food company, restaurant, and/or retailer. By doing so, you both get justice and help prevent future outbreaks of illness. Call our Listeria lawyers at 1-888-377-8900 for a free consultation and find out if you have a personal injury or wrongful death claim.
Below is one example of an outbreak linked to sprouts.
Outbreak Linked to Wholesome Soy Products
From June through August 2014, 5 people from 2 states were part of a listeriosis outbreak linked to mung bean sprouts processed by Wholesome Soy Products, Inc. All 5 people were hospitalized, and 2 of the tragically died. Only 2 of the people were well enough to interview, and they both reported consuming bean sprouts in the month before becoming ill.
Note that the incubation period for the Listeria bacterium can be as long as 70 days. This means if you eat tainted sprouts it could be a month before you get sick. This makes it very difficult to find the source of an outbreak of illnesses.
Two of the five people sickened in this outbreak were interviewed, and both reported consuming bean sprouts in the month before becoming ill.
On August 13, 2014, the FDA obtained samples of sprouts and sprout irrigation water at the Wholesome Soy Products plant. Testing on these samples were positive for L. monocytogenes. FDA then inspected the plant from August 12, 2014, through September 3, 2014, and isolated Listeria monocytogenes from 25 environmental swabs obtained during the inspection. Its inspection reported cited the company for numerous unsanitary conditions and poor equipment maintenance.
On August 28, 2014, Wholesome Soy Products, Inc. recalled its mung bean sprouts. On September 15, 2014, it started selling sprouts because they did not test positive for Listeria; however, the FDA re-inspected the plant in October and found 9 environmental samples that tested positive for Listeria and a continuing problem with unsanitary conditions and poor equipment maintenance.
On November 7, 2014, Wholesome Soy Products, Inc. recalled additional mung bean sprouts.
FDA performed pulsed-field gel electrophoresis (PFGE) and whole genome sequencing (WGS) on the isolates from mung bean sprouts and environmental samples from Wholesome Soy Products, Inc. to further characterize the L. monocytogenes isolates. The whole-genome sequences of L. monocytogenes strains in these samples were compared to those found in the 5 ill people. They were highly related, meaning the 5 people most likely were sickened by the Wholesome Soy Products mung bean sprouts.