Sprouters Northwest, Inc. Recalls Raw Alfalfa Sprouts Due to Possible Health Risk

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has been alerted that Sprouters Northwest, Inc. of Kent, Wash. is recalling two-, three-, and five-pound institutional trays of its raw alfalfa sprouts sent to various food institutions because they may be linked to a recent increase in Salmonellosis in Oregon and Washington. To date, 12 cases of Salmonella Bovismorbificans possibly linked to the consumption of raw alfalfa sprouts have been reported. In light of these outbreaks, FDA is reiterating its previous alerts about eating raw sprouts. Those persons who wish to reduce the risk of foodborne illness from sprouts are advised not to eat raw sprouts. This advice is particularly important for children, the elderly, and persons with weakened immune systems, all of whom are at high risk of developing serious illness due to foodborne disease. People in high-risk categories should not eat raw sprouts.

Salmonella Bovismorbificans is an organism rarely seen in the United Stated that can cause serious and sometimes fatal infections in young children, frail or elderly people and others with weakened immune systems. Healthy persons infected with Salmonella often experience fever, diarrhea (which may be bloody), nausea, vomiting and abdominal pain. In rare circumstances, infection with Salmonella can result in the organism getting into the bloodstream and producing more severe illnesses such as arterial infections (i.e., infected aneurysms), endocarditis (swelling of the lining the heart) and arthritis. Most cases resolve without the need for medical attention.

FDA is working closely with state officials and the company to determine the cause of this problem and what steps can be taken to combat it. The agency will provide additional information as it becomes available.

Food service institutions which have the recalled product are urged not to use it but to instead contact the company at (253) 872-0577.

Individuals who may have experienced any of the above symptoms after eating raw alfalfa sprouts should contact their physician or local department of health.

Source: FDA

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