94 sickened: Sprouted chia seed powder – USA and Canada, 2013–2014

Salmonella is a leading cause of bacterial foodborne illness. We report the collaborative investigative efforts of US and Canadian public health officials during the 2013–2014 international outbreak of multiple Salmonella serotype infections linked to sprouted chia seed powder.

The investigation included open-ended interviews of ill persons, traceback, product testing, facility inspections, and trace forward.

Ninety-four persons infected with outbreak strains from 16 states and four provinces were identified; 21% were hospitalized and none died. Fifty-four (96%) of 56 persons who consumed chia seed powder, reported 13 different brands that traced back to a single Canadian firm, distributed by four US and eight Canadian companies.

Laboratory testing yielded outbreak strains from leftover and intact product. Contaminated product was recalled. Although chia seed powder is a novel outbreak vehicle, sprouted seeds are recognized as an important cause of foodborne illness; firms should follow available guidance to reduce the risk of bacterial contamination during sprouting.


Sprouted chia seed powder recalled due to Salmonella

Back 2 the Garden Inc. is recalling Back 2 the Garden brand Organic Sprouted Chia Seed Powder from the marketplace due to possible Salmonella contamination. Consumers should not consume the recalled product described below.

chia.mr.tThe following product has been sold nationally as well as through internet sales.

Recalled products

Brand Name: Back 2 the Garden

Common Name: Organic Sprouted Chia Seed Powder

Size: 200 g

Code(s) on Product: EVCH0150529-04 BB/MA JUL-2016

UPC: 6 27843 15900 1

What you should do

Check to see if you have recalled products in your home. Recalled products should be thrown out or returned to the store where they were purchased.

chia.sproutsFood contaminated with Salmonella may not look or smell spoiled but can still make you sick. Young children, pregnant women, the elderly and people with weakened immune systems may contract serious and sometimes deadly infections. Healthy people may experience short-term symptoms such as fever, headache, vomiting, nausea, abdominal cramps and diarrhea. Long-term complications may include severe arthritis.

This recall was triggered by Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) test results. The CFIA is conducting a food safety investigation, which may lead to the recall of other products. If other high-risk products are recalled, the CFIA will notify the public through updated Food Recall Warnings.

The CFIA is verifying that industry is removing recalled product from the marketplace.

There have been no reported illnesses associated with the consumption of this product.

‘I pity the fool’ 29 in Canada, 17 in US sick with Salmonella in various sprouted chia seed powder products

There are now 29 people in Canada and 17 in the U.S. now sick with Salmonella from various organic sprouted chia seed powder products, up from zero and nine, respectively just a week ago.

chia.mr.tThere’s a bunch of products from a bunch of companies. As of June 2 in the U.S., 17 ill persons infected with the outbreak strains of Salmonella Newport (12 persons) or Salmonella Hartford (5 persons) have been reported from 10 states.