April 28, 2009: Alfalfa Sprouts May Be Contaminated With Salmonella

The FDA and CDC have recommended that consumers not eat raw alfalfa sprouts, and sprout blends containing alfalfa sprouts, because the products may be linked to a Salmonella serotype Saintpaul outbreak.

Public health officials have confirmed 31 cases of Salmonella Saintpaul infection in Michigan, Minnesota, Pennsylvania, South Dakota, Utah, and West Virginia.  Most of the Salmonella food poisoning victims reported eating raw alfalfa sprouts.  The suspect sprouts were consumed at restaurants and after being purchased at retail stores.

Since the investigation is ongoing, the number of victims and states involved will likely increase.

According to the FDA, these latest illnesses may be part of a Salmonella outbreak, also linked to alfalfa sprouts that occurred in February and March, 2009, in the Midwestern states of Nebraska, South Dakota, Iowa, Kansas, and Minnesota. The strain of Salmonella Saintpaul in both outbreaks is identical.

Since the contaminated sprouts can be traced to multiple sprout growers in multiple states, public health officials suspect that the seeds used to grow the sprouts, may have been contaminated. 

In addition, multiple growers may have failed to follow FDA Sprout Guidance, which recommends seed disinfection prior to seed germination for the production of sprouts; and testing of the wash water for each batch of sprouts for the presence of Salmonella and E. coli.

Symptoms of Salmonella infection may include diarrhea (sometimes bloody), abdominal cramps, nausea, vomiting, fever, chills, headache, muscle pain, and joint pain. Symptoms usually appear within 12-72 hours after the ingestion of contaminated food.  To learn more, please see Salmonella Food Poisoning and Salmonella Symptoms.

The Law Firm of Eric H. Weinberg represents victims of Salmonella outbreaks including Arby’s, Veggie Booty, Peter Pan, and Peanut Corporation of America.   If you are diagnosed with Salmonella, are awaiting medical confirmation of infection, or have a question regarding your legal rights, please submit a Free Legal Case Evaluation, or call us toll free at 1-877-934-6274.

To learn more about recent food poisoning outbreaks and food recalls, please see Salmonella Lawyer and Food Poisoning Lawyer.