Alfalfa Sprouts Can Cause Salmonella Food Poisoning

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Sprouts Served at Jimmy John’s Restaurants

Salmonella LawsuitFrom November 1 through December 27, 2010, 100 individuals infected with the outbreak strain of Salmonella serotype I 4,[5],12:i:-, whose illnesses began since November 1, were reported from 16 states and the District of Columbia. Among persons with available information, 24% reported being hospitalized.

Collaborative investigative efforts of local, state, and federal public health and regulatory agencies linked this outbreak to the consumption of Tiny Greens Organic Farm’s Alfalfa Sprouts and Spicy Sprouts. Jimmy John’s restaurants voluntarily suspended serving sprouts at their Illinois franchise locations.

Salmonella Outbreak
Salmonella bacteria in tetrathionate enrichment broth stained using direct FA staining technique.

Caldwell Fresh Foods

On May 21, 2010, Caldwell Fresh Foods, of Maywood, California, recalled all alfalfa sprouts manufactured under the Caldwell Fresh Foods, Nature’s Choice, and California Exotics brands, because the alfalfa sprouts may have been contaminated with Salmonella. Caldwell alfalfa sprouts were associated with an outbreak of Salmonella Newport that has sickened more than 20 people in 10 states, including 11 people in California. The latest known illness was May 2, 2010; many of those who became sick reported eating raw alfalfa sprouts. There were no deaths reported, but 4 cases were hospitalized. The alfalfa sprouts were distributed to a variety of restaurants, delicatessens, and retailers nationwide. In California, the recalled sprouts were sold at Kings Super Market, Numero Uno Stores, Cárdenas Markets, Trader Joe’s Stores, Gonzalez Northgate Markets, Wal-Mart stores, Jons Markets, and Canton Foods.