Feds Issue Salmonella Warning on Raw Alfalfa Sprouts

April 28, 2009 05:00 PM
by Emily Coakley
Raw alfalfa sprouts are the suspected source of the latest outbreak of salmonella in the United States.

People Urged to Avoid Raw Alfalfa Sprouts

According to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, washing the sprouts may not be enough to kill the bacteria, so the agency has suggested people avoid raw alfalfa sprouts altogether, Reuters reported. Other types of sprouts are safe.

“This outbreak appears to be an extension of an earlier outbreak in 2009,” the FDA said in a statement, adding that in March and February there were cases of Salmonella Saintpaul reported in Minnesota, Iowa, Kansas, South Dakota and Nebraska.

Alfalfa sprouts grown at home carry a high risk for salmonella, because contaminated seeds seem to be the source, the Oregonian reported. Seeds were sold in 18 states across the country.

There have been 31 cases, and in each the person either ate home-grown sprouts or had them in a restaurant, the newspaper said. So far there have been no fatalities.

Background: Past salmonella outbreaks

Salmonella Saintpaul last sickened people during the summer of 2008, when tomatoes were the suspected source, but some jalapeno peppers were actually to blame. The summer 2008 outbreak included approximately 1,300 reported cases in nearly every state.

Reference: Salmonella Saintpaul


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