The Salmonella outbreak linked to recalled Sprouts Extraordinaire raw alfalfa sprouts has ended, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Thirty-six people infected with two different types of Salmonella were sickened in nine states. That is an increase of six patients since the last notice on August 5, 2016.
Epidemiologic and traceback evidence has shown that alfalfa sprouts supplied by Sprouts Extraordinare were the likely source of this outbreak. Two strains of Salmonella: Salmonella Reading and Salmonella Albony, sickened people in this particular outbreak.
The company recalled alfalfa sprouts from the market place on August 5, 2016 after the outbreak was announced. The outbreak appears to be over, but public health officials warn that sprouts are known to cause foodborne illness and food poisoning outbreaks.
This particular outbreak seems to be over, according to the government. But public health officials warn consumers that sprouts have caused at least 30 food poisoning outbreaks since 1996.
The final outbreak case count by state is: Colorado (17), Kansas (9), Minnesota (1), Missouri (1), Nebraska (3), New York (1), Oregon (1), Texas (1), and Wyoming (2). Of those patients, 30 were sickened with Salmonella reading, 1 was infected with Salmonella Albony, and 5 people were infected with both types of Bacteria.
Illnesses started on dates ranging from May 21, 2016 to September 10, 2016. The patient age range was from less than 1 year to 72. The median patient age was 30. Fifty-six percent of all ill persons were female. Seven people were hospitalized in this outbreak because their illnesses were so serious. No deaths were reported.
Most of those sickened in this outbreak said when interviewed that they ate the sprouts at restaurants. In fact, of the 31 patients who were interviewed by public health officials, 18, or 58%, said they ate alfalfa sprouts the week before they got sick. Traceback investigations discovered that the sprouts served at all five of the restaurants where patients ate were supplied by Sprouts Extraordinaire. The sprouts recalled by Sprouts Extraordinaire on August 5, 2016.
Food safety experts say that it’s important to ask if foods you buy at restaurants and delis are made with raw sprouts, especially if you fall into a high risk group. That group includes the elderly, the very young, people with compromised immune systems, pregnant women, and anyone with a chronic illness.
And growing your own sprouts will not protect you from foodborne illness. The seeds used to make sprouts can be contaminated; the government says that seeds in most of these outbreaks were contaminated with pathogenic bacteria. And the warm, moist growing conditions for sprouts are the ideal environment for bacterial growth.
Our law firm has investigated this outbreak. If you were part of this outbreak, contact us for a free consultation to help protect your legal rights. Food poisoning litigation can help pay medical bills when someone is sickened by contaminated food.
The symptoms of a Salmonella infection include fever, nausea, abdominal cramps, diarrhea that may be bloody, and vomiting. These symptoms usually begin six to seventy-hours after exposure to the pathogenic bacteria. The illness usually lasts about a week, and most people recover on their own without medical intervention.
But it’s important to note that this outbreak may be much larger than 36 people sickened. Epidemiologists use a “multiplier” of 30.3 for Salmonella outbreaks, since so many sickened by this bacteria never see a doctor. That means there could be more than 1,000 people sickened in this particular outbreak.
Since there can be serious long term complications from a Salmonella infection, even if the patient recovers completely, a doctor’s visit is important. This illness should be noted on your chart in case you get sick in the future. Salmonella infections can cause Reiter’s Syndrome, which can cause reactive arthritis; high blood pressure, and irritable bowel syndrome. See your doctor, then contact us for help.