According to CDC, sprouts are back at it again with the illnesses.
I don’t eat them, but if I did, I would want to know a whole lot about the seed source and who was growing them – fairly hard to do when they arrive as garnish on a salad or on a sandwich.
CDC is collaborating with public health officials in several states and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to investigate a multistate outbreak of Salmonella Reading and Salmonella Abony infections.
Thirty people infected with the outbreak strains have been reported from nine states. Of those ill people, 24 were infected with Salmonella Reading, 1 was infected with Salmonella Abony, and 5 were infected with both.
Illnesses started on dates ranging from May 21, 2016 to July 20, 2016. Ill people range in age from less than 1 year to 72, with a median age of 30. Fifty-three percent of ill people are female. Five ill people have been hospitalized, and no deaths have been reported.
Epidemiologic and traceback evidence available at this time indicate that alfalfa sprouts supplied by Sprouts Extraordinaire of Denver, Colorado are the likely source of this outbreak.
In interviews, ill people answered questions about the foods they ate and other exposures in the week before they became ill. Of the 27 ill people who were interviewed, 17 (63%) reported eating or possibly eating alfalfa sprouts in the week before illness started. This proportion is significantly higher than results from a 2006 survey of healthy people, in which 3% reported eating sprouts on a sandwich in the week before they were interviewed. Ill people in the current outbreak reported eating raw alfalfa sprouts on sandwiches from several different restaurants.
Federal, state, and local health and regulatory officials performed a traceback investigation from five restaurants where ill people reported eating alfalfa sprouts. This investigation indicated that Sprouts Extraordinaire supplied alfalfa sprouts to all five of these locations.
On August 5, 2016, Sprouts Extraordinaire recalled its alfalfa sprout products from the market due to possible Salmonella contamination. These products were sold in 5-pound boxes labeled “Living Alfalfa Sprouts”.
A historical selection of sprout outbreaks can be found here.