Why Sprouts May Not be Good for Your Health

Tiny Greens Organic Farm’s Alfalfa Sprouts and Spicy Sprouts have been preliminarily linked to a multistate outbreak of Salmonella infections. The sprouts were distributed to Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Missouri and may also have been distributed to other Midwestern states, informed the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Monday, Dec. 27.

It says about half of the illnesses occurred in Illinois, where nearly all of the ill individuals ate sandwiches containing sprouts at various Jimmy John’s outlets.

Now, FDA is advising consumers not to eat Alfalfa Sprouts and Spicy Sprouts (which contain alfalfa sprouts mixed with radish and clover sprouts) from Tiny Greens Organic Farm of Urbana, Ill. The sprouts were distributed in 4 oz. and 5 lb. containers to customers.

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Consumers, retailers and others who have these sprouts should discard them in a sealed container so people and animals, including wild animals, cannot eat them.

It was also stated that Jimmy John’s has stopped serving sprouts on its sandwiches at all Illinois locations.

Most persons infected with Salmonella develop diarrhea, fever and abdominal cramps 12 to 72 hours after infection. The illness usually lasts four to seven days, and most persons recover without treatment.

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For more information, you can visit:

CDC on Salmonella: http://www.cdc.gov/salmonella/general/

CDC on sprouts: http://www.cdc.gov/ncidod/eid/press_r/taormina.htm

Foodsafety.gov: http://www.foodsafety.gov/poisoning/causes/bacteriaviruses/salmonella.html

However, some individuals may require hospitalization from severe diarrhea. Salmonella infection may spread from the intestines to the blood stream and then to other body sites.

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It can cause death unless the person is treated promptly with antibiotics, FDA says. The elderly, infants and those with impaired immune systems are more likely to become severely ill from Salmonella infection.

FDA also suggests that sprouts are a known source of foodborne illness. Since 1996, there have been at least 30 reported outbreaks of foodborne illness associated with different types of raw and lightly cooked sprouts. Most of these outbreaks were caused by Salmonella and E. coli. 

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Currently, FDA is investigating the problem in collaboration with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Illinois Department of Public Health and other states and is working with Tiny Greens.

Photo courtesy: Foodsafety.gov

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